Dan Kalai
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Dan Kalai

Band Pop Acoustic


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Sleepy Oak Sessions EP 2007
1. Pretty Baby
2. Josh's Song
3. Blanket
4. Trying
5. Drunk Dialing (Live)
6. 22 (Live)



Punchy acoustic guitar married with earthy drums. Saxxy hooks seducing upright bass to spend the night. Honest lyrics that smoothly groove into your ears and heart gripping the soul, igniting movement, and manifesting relation. Labeled “Unique”, it can be challenging to define the music of Dan Kalai.

Since January 2007, Dan Kalai and his band have played 27 shows at top-tier venues such as Grape Street, World Cafe Live, Northstar Bar, Festival Pier at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia and Bitter End and CMJ at The Cutting Room in New York City. They have grown very rapidly and have developed a unique, diverse following. 2007 also marked the release of their debut EP, Sleepy Oak Sessions, available on CD Baby and iTunes.

Dan Kalai taught himself guitar at a young age. His two biggest influences were his older brothers. He received his first guitar at the age of 12 as a gift from his older brother-musician Mike Kalai, who also taught him how to play. After seeing his other brother Scott Richard, who had a five-year stint as writer/rapper Skip-o-pot2mus in the white-rapper group “The Bloodhound Gang”, Kalai was inspired to follow his dreams in music and movies. It wasn’t until college at Temple University, where he would write the song that would change his life. “Drunk Dialing” almost started out as a joke. Almost. The lyrics, however, rang too true. People related to its honesty. From there Kalai started to write more and more and play at parties and on college balconies to any girls who would listen. Kalai, a Philly native, is also an independent filmmaker serving as writer-producer-director on many accomplished projects such as the film festival hit “The 4th Dimension” which Kalai produced. It will be released worldwide in 2008.

The musicians Kalai found along his serendipitous, musical journey could not be more different in taste, style, influences and culture. Kalai ran into college friend and drummer Josh Gilgoff at a BBQ. At the time, Dan was only playing with a bass player and after many beers and conversation, the two decided to play together the following week. Gilgoff added another dimension to Kalai’s songs bringing them to rhythmic life, making any song danceable. Gilgoff, a New Tripoli, PA native, traveled quite extensively, studying percussion in Ghana, Africa and playing on a world cruise ship for months on end. With his worldly knowledge of music and love of jazz, Gilgoff shaped the rhythmic foundation for Kalai’s style and his in-the-pocket presence is always felt on every recording and live show.

Around the same time Kalai’s first bass player left to start his own project, coincidentally, a Parisian upright bass player by the name of Alex Hiele had married an American girl and moved to the Philly area. Kalai met Alex through his wife and asked him to come try out for the band. Alex brought a much-needed seasoned vibe to the band that encouraged growth. His 20 years of experience and musical repertoire really raised the bar for performance, quality and attitude. Hiele has played with many successful European singer-songwriters and can be found on jazz vinyl across Europe.

More Recently, Kalai’s first sax player decided to leave the project to pursue his own endeavors. Kalai found a stellar replacement in Tony Peebles. Peebles, a Toronto native, thoroughly understands his role in the music. Peebles brings a fresh take on hooks and beautiful, natural tones accentuating the rhythm section and carrying melodies at the appropriate times. Peebles is also heavily rooted in jazz, but appreciates soul and R&B as influences as well.

Each member adds another dimension to the music with such style, personality and charisma. Musicians and non-musicians alike, enjoy watching the band play for it’s fun nature and over-flowing presence and energy. They continue to polish their sound and search for originality. The most important element in their musical soundscape. To maintain true originality.