Dan Reifsteck is a Boston based percussionist committed to performing and composing in solo and chamber settings. His performances often juxtapose the virtuosic with the vulnerable, the subtle, and the obscure. Dan has dedicated himself to performing percussion classics alongside personal compositions and adaptations of popular music for percussion.
As a soloist, Dan was recently invited to perform JP Merz’s new vibraphone solo, compression study 1 (after thermopower), at the 2020 New Music Gathering in Portland, Oregon. He was selected as one of 30 semifinalists internationally to perform at the TROMP International Percussion Competition in the Netherlands in 2018. That summer, Dan attended eighth blackbird’s Blackbird Creative Lab. As part of a spring reunion with the lab, Dan performed on WFMT-Chicago in spring 2019.
Dan has collaborated with Boston groups including Ambient Orchestra, Sound Icon, contraBAND, and Sorry for Yelling. With Ambient Orchestra, Dan toured the U.S. performing a chamber orchestra arrangement of David Bowie’s last album, Blackstar, orchestrated by Evan Ziporyn with soloist Maya Beiser. The studio album, for which he was a part of, received positive reviews by national outlets Billboard and Wall Street Journal. Dan has worked under the direction of rising conductor Vimbayi Kaziboni and performed masterworks such as John Adams’s Chamber Symphony and Peter Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King. Sorry for Yelling, an experimental music group co-founded by Dan, prioritized creating immersive concert experiences like a musical haunted house this past October.
Dan also co-founded the ensembles Slipstream and Lilith. The latter’s self-titled album featuring music by Shara Nova, Brad Wells, Joanne Metcalf, and JP Merz was released on National Sawdust Tracks. Daniel Kushner of Opera News hailed Lilith’s album as, “consistently compelling and performed with the utmost skill...worth multiple listens." With Slipstream, Dan toured the Midwest premiering over a dozen pieces written for the ensemble and improvising in venues including Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Interlochen Arts Academy, Drake University, and Studio Z in Minneapolis.
A passionate educator as much as a dedicated performer, Dan enjoys sharing his love of percussion with students in both private and group lesson settings. Dan currently teaches percussion fundamentals at the Community Music Center of Boston in the Early Childhood department. While 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 including Steve Reich, Punch Brothers, and street bucket routines. In addition, Dan has taught traditional Ghanaian Ewe drumming and dance to students grades 3-12 at the 2015 and 2016 Piano Odyssey Summer Camp in Appleton, WI.
Dan recently earned his M.M. in Contemporary Classical Music Performance at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and will receive a Professional Studies Certificate in May 2020. He graduated from Lawrence University with a B.M. in Percussion Performance. While at Lawrence, he was a member of the classical percussion ensemble (known as LUPÉ), Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and Ghanaian drumming ensembles. In 2014, these ensembles collectively won the Percussive Arts Society’s World Percussion Competition in 2014 as well as a Student Downbeat Award for Outstanding Performance in the College Undergraduate Latin Jazz Ensemble category. In the summer of 2014, Dan interned with the Center for Deep Listening led by world-renowned composer Pauline Oliveros. After that internship, he traveled to Pune, India to study tabla with Bharat Jangam for a semester.
Dan is available for private lessons (both in-person and online), commissions, and performances. Click here to contact.