The Dan Blake Party

The Dan Blake Party


With his debut album, saxophonist Dan Blake invokes the joy of playing jazz music through his unique melodies which are both catchy and interesting. The grooves harken back to the days when jazz was party music...a little dirty, and always fresh.


Hailed as one of the most prominent young musicians to come out of Boston’s vibrant jazz scene, saxophonist and composer Dan Blake brings a new voice to the jazz tradition. Dan Blake has always been an individualist, moving easily between the roles of saxophonist and composer, as can be heard on his latest release “The Party Suite”. The music has the edgy groove of Sidney Bechet’s New Orleans sound, with the melodic inventiveness of Thelonious Monk, and the gritty, bluesy sophistication of Charles Mingus. With two saxophones stating melodies that attract listeners both familiar and unfamiliar with jazz, “The Party Suite” is, “Contemporary without the boring stuffiness associated with ‘modern music’.” (Tufts Daily, 2005) Celebrating the release of his ambitious recording project, saxophonist and composer Dan Blake recently celebrated his “Party Suite”at Cambridge’s “Zeitgeist Gallery” on 16 November, 2005, bringing a unique voice to the Boston jazz scene.

Blake began studies on piano at age 5 before switching to saxophone at age 10 upon hearing Johnny Hodges play with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Growing up in New Jersey, there were many opportunities to hear great jazz musicians in New York City and at local jam sessions, instilling in Blake the roots of jazz rhythm that inspired him to be a part of this great tradition. Upon moving to Boston, Daniel Blake quickly became regarded as a leader among his peers, leading jam sessions and residencies of his own for the past four years at various jazz clubs and art galleries in the greater Boston area. Blake is also a respected educator, leading masterclasses in rhythm, improvisation, and music history to children of all ages. While in Boston, Blake studied with Steve Lacy, Jerry Bergonzi, Danilo Perez, Bob Brookmeyer, and Dave Liebman, among other jazz legends.

Since he graduated from The New England Conservatory of Music in 2004, Blake began his efforts to further unite the Boston jazz scene, earning the respect as a “driving force” (Boston Globe, 11/05) behind the Boston Jazz Collective, an organization that promotes jazz music, and has staged several influential concerts around Boston. The Party Suite was debuted this past winter to a packed house at the BJC’s first major event, “The Shape of Jazz Today”.


Dan Blake: "The Party Suite"
Dan Blake: "The Wake"

Set List

The Party Suite is typically 45 minutes to 1 hour and consists of:

The Morning Shuffle
The Sneaky Dance
The Party
Dance on My Toes
The Chide Grind

Monk's Dream (Monk)
San Fransisco Holiday (Monk)
2300 Skidoo (Herbie Nichols)
House Party Starting (Herbie Nichols)