A genre-defying performer, dedicated educator, and omnivorous listener, Dan DeChellis has lived his musical vision for over 40 years, leveraging strict classical training into deep-dive explorations of modern classical improvisation, free improvisation, jazz, rock, and ambient music.
Beginning piano studies at age 7, Dan earned bachelors and masters degrees in piano performance from Appalachian State University and Duquesne University, then spent a year studying improvisation with Paul Bley and Ran Blake at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC). In Boston and later New York, he released more than a half-dozen solo and group recordings on his own Sachimay Records label; co-founded Brooklyn’s Improvised and Otherwise Festival; performed at venues including the Knitting Factory, Tonic, CBGB’s, and Sculler’s Jazz Club; and collaborated with musicians including drummers Tatsuya Nakatani and Gerry Hemingway, saxophonists Bhob Rainey and Jack Wright, bassists Gene Perla and Reuben Radding, guitarists Philip Tomasic and Chris Forsyth, and the trio Chainworks with electronics player Brian Moran and percussionist Matt Hannafin.
Beyond music, Dan is a father of two, a homebrewer, an avid cook, and an obsessive record collector.
“For many years, I thought of music as a process and a result, but as I get older I’m seeing it much more as simply a language and a conversation. You don’t need to decide what to talk about or where you’ll go with it; you just start talking.” — Dan DeChellis