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Recording  James and The Giant Peach at MSR Studios

Recording James and The Giant Peach at MSR Studios

2014 was such a wonderful year for us. Among the many, many wonderful projects, The Chris McDonald Jazz Orchestra’s No Pews Required and two big album releases in Latin music, Oscar d’Leon’s Classicos de Big Band and Ricardo Arjona’s Viaje were especially fun to contribute to. Read the rest of this entry »

The spectacle of the 2012 Latin Grammy Awards

The 13th Latin Grammy Awards were held in Las Vegas last week, and armed with a couple of nominations I joined in to witness the spectacle. And spectacle is the word! First, let me congratulate the Academy for another successful event, the scope and management of which boggles my mind. There were two big concert events, the main awards show telecast, and the Person of the Year event honoring Brazillian composer/artist Caetano Velsoso. The FOH mix at both concerts was great (not easy with so many different performers) Read the rest of this entry »

Ricardo Arjona - Independiente

Ricardo Arjona – Independiente

It’s always nice when a project you work on gets some well-deserved notice. In this case, Ricardo Arjona’s “Independiente”, which just grabbed 4 Latin Grammy nominations including “Record of the Year”, “Album of the Year”, and “Song of the Year”. Better still, I’m named in the first two along with my friends, Producers Dan Warner and Lee Levin and Mix Engineer David Thoener.

“Independiente” is full of great performances and beautiful songwriting. One of my favorite cuts is “Fuiste Tu,” nominated for Song of the Year, which is a duet with the incredible Gaby Moreno (her record “Postales” was released just last month.) My primary contribution to Ricardo’s album was recording the brilliant string arrangements by my long time colleague Chris McDonald.

The Latin Grammy Awards will be held in Las Vegas on November 15th and televised on Unvision.

Tracking San Luis at Myspace Recording, Nashville

Recently, Producer Iker Gastaminza came in from Miami with two of the founding members of Venezuelan pop sensation Voz Vies. Santiago and Luis Castillo are finishing production of their first release under the new group name San Luis. Part of the new sound they were looking for was the synergy of great musicians tracking live, something done less and less often in latin pop music. Toward this end Iker suggested coming to Nashville to work with myself and arranger Chris McDonald. Read the rest of this entry »

It all began with a phone call from Mr. Gary Burnette.

“Hey Dan, can you track for a couple of days next month?”
I check my calendar. “Sure, I’d love to. What you got?”
“An artist from Puerto Rico named Ednita Nazario”
Well, I love artists from PR… I’ve worked several including Tommy Torres. “Yeah, I’d love to do that!” I reply.

Gary is a major league session guitarist (and a good friend) and in addition to producing projects himself, he often helps clients book players, studios and engineers for sessions. I agreed to do the session and Gary promised to call soon with more details. That, as they say, was that.

“Dan?” It’s 3 days later. “Well, they decided to go with another engineer and another studio”.

This is not that unusual. Ours is a fickle business. “No problem GB, we’ll do it next time.”

Forward 3 weeks to a message on my voice mail.

“Hi Dan,” says a cheerful voice. “This is Gilles Godard from Ole music. I understand from a friend in Miami that you recorded one of my songs with Ednita Nazzario!” hmmm.

So I called Gilles back, introduced myself and apologized but, no, I didn’t do Ednita’s record. After we chatted for a couple minutes I began to think that this guy sounded really interesting. I invited him to come meet me for the usual tour of the studio and hang time.

Today I met Gilles. He is the kind of forward thinking music industry pro that you hope everyone to be (though, usually…) and hopefully we will find ways to work together.

I thought this was a good example of the universe throwing seemingly random bits together to create good.

Oh, and last night my family and I saw a meteor streak through the Tennessee sky.

All is well.

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