By the time Danny Knight was three years old, he could memorize and sing any song he heard after hearing it only once.
He began formal training in piano at age five, with Matilde Maither (a former student of the legendary classical pianist and Steinway "Immortal" Ignace Jan Paderewski) in his hometown, Ottumwa, Iowa.
He began vocal studies a few years later with Margaret Stoltz, a vocal instructor who had been the protege of the great Metropolitan Opera star Ernestine Schumann-Heink.
He was on his way to a career in opera when at age seventeen a motor vehicle accident changed his life. The accident and residual injuries ended his hopes for a singing career. But as a result of the accident he had a "near death" experience. He was clinically dead for several minutes, and as a result of this experience his live would never be the same.
He was reborn. Literally. He returned to life a different person.
If he could no longer sing with his voice, he vowed that the piano would be his voice, and that through it, and his compositions, he would find a way to "sing" once more.
His passion led him to discover the art, and the writing, of his spiritual mentor, Vassily Kandinsky. And it led him to his mentor, Dr. Billy Taylor, who would become his musical father.
In the spirit of Kandinsky, he has become a leader in the synthesis of the Arts. As a composer, lecturer, teacher, and performing artist, he is building the foundation for a new, inclusive, powerful, collaborative tradition in the Arts.
His personal artistic sensibilities led him to combine the best of the worlds of improvised music and the classical tradition. Those traditions are unified, now, in the person of Dan Knight.
His passion for the Arts is a religious experience for him, and continues to lead him on the course which is his life's goal -- to combat soullessness in all its forms, through engagement with the redemptive power of Art.
Steinway Artist, Pianist, Composer, Educator
Dan Knight Steinway Artist, Pianist, Composer, Educator © 2019
"He is incontestably one of the finest solo pianists in the world."
Founder and Artistic Director
The Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland
"Calling Dan Knight a pianist is like calling Michael Jordan a basketball player."
RICHARD RIVES BIRD
President, Rives Audio
"Man, you're great."
Tenor Saxophone Legend
"His musical heritage . . . is a fusion of the best of the jazz and the classical worlds. combining the passion and the technique of Paderewski with the improvisational virtuosity of Art Tatum"
"Dan Knight is a composer who uses twentieth-century artists to inspire his work. His palette is made up of musical notes and scales. His brushes are the keys . . . "
CHRISTOPHER LYDON, on NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO's
"THE CONNECTION with CHRISTOPHER LYDON," from WBUR-Boston.
"[He] seem[s] to be actively relearning and exploring each theme emotionally as a performance progresses. Meditation, mental fugue, singing hands extending through the fingers, keys, hammers and strings, into harmonic emotional space."
Videographer and Producer