With the aid of a few local private trumpet teachers, and a fair to middling psychotherapist, he took to the trumpet, and after being exposed to both jazz and classical genres, as well as the occasional pit orchestra, he found his voice on the demanding instrument; earning trips to local, regional and state bands and orchestras, and finally a short tour of Europe after his junior year of high school, as principal trumpet with the Pennsylvania Ambassadors of Music. Following graduation, Daniel attended the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, at first majoring in Prelaw studies. However, by the end of his freshman year, he made the decision to switch to the music school, where he earned his Bachelor of Music in Studio Music and Jazz in Trumpet Performance. He played locally in Miami until August of 1985, at which time he migrated to the Bay Area, where he has made his home since then, along with his wife, Zomar, their son, Pablo and their vociferous dog, Fezz.
Some of his early influences include Al Hirt, the Beatles, Blood Sweat and Tears, Chicago, and the short-lived but ground breaking band Chase, as well as great performers in jazz such as Louie Armstrong, Freddie Hubbard, Maynard Ferguson, Miles Davis , John Coltrane, and Bill Evans. Daniel was fortunate to study with, and be influenced by great players and educators such as John King, Gilbert Johnson, Stephen Schmidt, Gary Lindsay, Al Hemiola and John Coppola, among others.
Daniel was a founding member of the Hard Luck Blues Band, which after a rapid trajectory in popularity and fame, was struck by tragedy when four of the original six members were crushed to death in a vitamin aisle at a local health food store during the 1988 Westridge earthquake. Of course, from devastation often comes inspiration, and Daniel was moved to pen some of his best known works, including:
Daniel currently freelances in the Bay Area, playing in a wide variety of groups ranging from big bands to shows, and from classic rock and pop to small group jazz, as well as the odd "Call to the Post" for the occasional horse race.