Dan Reifsteck has found his passion in performing, composing, and improvising new music. A firm believer in the power of interdisciplinary collaboration, Dan is passionate about pursuing new music that pushes the boundaries of creativity, musical integrity, and audience engagement.
This past spring included highlights like Music for 18 Musicians, performing on WFMT in Chicago as part of the Blackbird Creative Lab Reunion, and performing with members of the Wet Ink Ensemble. In fall 2018, he toured with the Boston Conservatory at Berklee's new music ensemble, contraBAND, performing Evan Ziporyn's arrangement of David Bowie's Blackstar. He was also selected to participate in the TROMP International Percussion Competition last November in Eindhoven, Netherlands. In June 2018 he had the honor of performing at the New Music Gathering and was the first recipient of the Robert C. Duvall Percussionist Fellowship at the Blackbird Creative Lab.
One of the chamber projects he has been a part of, Lilith, is a quintet that commissioned composers Shara Nova, Brad Wells, Joanne Metcalf, and JP Merz to compose pieces that tackle social issues such as gender, power, and objectification. Their self-titled album was released by National Sawdust Tracks on March 2, 2018 and was hailed as "consistently compelling and performed with the utmost skill...worth multiple listens" by Daniel Kushner of Opera News.
Originally inspired to learn and perform Louis Andriessen’s, Hout, Slipstream is a quartet that creates programs that combine composed works with improvisation. The ensemble has commissioned over a dozen new pieces for saxophone, guitar, piano, and percussion. The release of their debut CD in 2016, Northland, led to performances at venues including The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Interlochen Arts Academy, Drake University, and Studio Z in Minneapolis. They have performed in masterclasses for eighth blackbird, Kronos Quartet, Third Coast Percussion, among many others.
Dan recently was awarded a M.M. in Classical Contemporary Performance at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and will return in the fall of 2019 to pursue a Professional Studies Certificate. He graduated from Lawrence University with a B.M. in Percussion Performance in the studio of Dane Maxim Richeson. While at Lawrence, he was featured as a soloist with the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble performing Marimba Spiritual in 2016. He also was a member of the Percussion Ensembles that won the Percussive Arts Society’s World Percussion Competition in 2014, as well as the Afro-Cuban ensemble that won a Student Downbeat Award for Outstanding Performance in the College Undergraduate Latin Jazz Ensemble category that same year. In the summer of 2014, he was an intern with the Center for Deep Listening then led by world-renowned composer Pauline Oliveros. After his internship ended, he traveled to Pune, India to study tabla with Bharat Jangam for a semester.
As an educator at the Lawrence Academy of Music, Dan taught private lessons and founded a Drumming Ensemble for high school students that performed original arrangements of contemporary music ranging from Punch Brothers to street bucket routines. In addition, Dan has experience teaching traditional Ewe drumming and dance to students grades 3-12 at the Piano Odyssey Summer Camp in 2015 and 2016.
Dan is available for private lessons (both in person and Skype), commissions, and performances. Click here to contact.