Dan received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon in 1985.
Dan began studying Marimba in Portland, Oregon in 1985 with Dr. Dumisani Maraire from Zimbabwe. While learning to play the Marimba, he began building marimbas. Dan was a co-founder of Boka Marimba, which he continues to play to this day. For over twenty five years Dan has studied with the great Zimbabwe musicians including Ephat Mujuru, Stella Chiweshe, Musekiwa Chingodza, and others.
After five years with Boka Marimba, Dan began playing with Dr. Maraire in his band Minanzi III. This group toured the country playing in night clubs and colleges up to the time when Dr. Maraire returned to Zimbabwe to live. Dan appears with Dr. Maraire on the Kronos Quartet recording “pieces if Africa”. In the time following Dr. Maraire’s return to Zimbabwe, Dan played with Seattle Marimba bands, Anzanga and Chavuvhu, a pick up group featuring former members of Minanzi III and Kutamba.
In 1992 Dan Moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and began teaching Shona style marimba music. Soon a student band was formed called Mhondoro which toured around New Mexico spreading African marimba music in this area for the first time. During this period, he started the Santa Fe Waldorf School’s Marimba program.
Four years later, Dan founded the band Jaka, using the name Dr. Maraire used to refer to his hosho playing. Dan Co-wrote and co-arranged the first self-titled CD released in 1998 followed by the second album “Magic” written and arranged by him in2000. Jaka was Dan’s first attempt to blend Zimbabwean music with contemporary western music.
In 2001 after a short relocation to Boulder, Colorado, Dan left Jaka to return to Santa Fe to raise his son Aedan. At that time Dan began teaching and performing again in Santa Fe, founding bands Mukwa and Common Thread. During this period he spent six years creating the ATC Charter High School’ Marimba program. Dan still performs mbira solo, as well as mbira, Marimba, and percussion and vocals with his present formation of Jaka.
Dan currently teaches at his school, Wild Marimbas, and at Saint Michael’s High School, both in Santa Fe, New Mexico.