...Meinhardt strikes the right balance between composition and improvisation, traditional jazz and modern sensibilities. A tenor saxophonist with a great, classic tone and a “less is more” maturity...There are several sides to this musician, and they’re all intriguing
-S. Victor Aaron, Something Else! Reviews
Since moving to Chicago in 2012, Dan Meinhardt has established himself as an innovative and versatile musician in the city’s diverse scene. Beginning on piano at a young age and picking up the saxophone 10, Dan was hooked and never looked back. An alumnus of Lawrence University (BM 2010) and the University of Oregon (MM 2012), Dan regularly draws upon his training as a composer, teacher, and instrumentalist.
As a multi-woodwind artist, Dan has collaborated with creative music ensembles throughout the region including Carl Kennedy’s Large Ensemble, Michael Nearpass, and Josh Torrey, as well as playing in the pit for musical theater productions with Porchlight and Metropolis Theaters, among others. Additionally, Dan lends his talents as a musician and arranger to The Inconvenience’s highly anticipated Fly Honey Show every year since 2013, as well as several other rock, R&B, and funk ensembles.
In addition to his work as a woodwind player, Dan is an accomplished pianist, and serves as a staff accompanist for Chicago Children's Choir and the Merit School of Music, working with ensembles and soloists alike. In 2016, Dan also began collaborating with dancers, and now accompanies ballet classes at Visceral Dance Center. Outside of his woodwind and piano performance, Dan has experience performing in and coaching Cuban, Brazilian, and Ghanaian percussion ensembles, symphony orchestras, and chamber ensembles.
Functional as a composer/arranger as well, Dan has written for chamber groups and large ensembles alike. His pieces have been performed by Steve Wilson, Dan Tepfer, and Jesse Lewis, and have been featured at the Oregon and Reno Jazz Festivals. Extending outwards from big band pieces, Dan’s arrangements have been performed at the Fly Honey Show. Most recently, Dan has developed a relationship with La Caccina, writing for their 7-part treble choir.
Dan’s familiarity with a multitude of musical traditions informs both his performance and educational style. When not performing, Dan teaches privately around Chicago and its suburbs, and is a frequent guest conductor for jazz band programs throughout the region. Dan believes in developing his students into self-sustaining musicians, maintaining a low-pressure, nurturing environment within the studio or rehearsal, just as he does for his own professional projects.
Dan's current project, Outset, is modeled after Ornette Coleman's chordless quartet and plays Dan’s original compositions and arrangements of standards. Their self-titled debut was released on August 26, 2016 on ears&eyes Records.