Dan has been performing professionally as a jazz and swing bassist since 1969, and has performed throughout the US, Canada,the far east and most recently in Havana,Cuba. He has appeared with national artists Rebecca Kilgore, Bud Shank, Bobby Shew, Scott Hamilton (Concord Records), Bill Berry (Duke Ellington alumnus), Lew Tabakin, Dave McKenna, Mark Murphy , jazz pianist George Cables (pianist for Dexter Gordon, Bobby Hutcherson and many other national artists) and renowned trumpeter Carl Saunders from the Stan Kenton Orchestra, and nationally renowned vibist/drummer Chuck Redd from the Smithsonian Jazz Project.
Recent shows include tours of Canada with internationally acclaimed vocalist Barbara Blair from Victoria,BC (2009,11 & 12) and performances and clinics in the Pacific NW. In 2008 Dan toured South Korea as a guest artist and clinician with the Clark College (Vancouver,Wa) vocal jazz ensemble. In 2013 Dan was part of a cultural exchange tour to Cuba and performed with musicians and students in Havana.
Dan started on guitar from age 7, attended University of Oregon 1969-74, and founded Willamette Valley Folk Festival (now 30+ years still active). His early career includes bluegrass/folk with Muddy Bottom Boys 1972-76, Everything's Jake (swing jazz) 1976-78, Wholly Cats (jazz/swing) 1978-86, which released two recordings and toured throughout western US & Canada and featured renowned vocalist Rebecca Kilgore. He has also performed in the Rebecca Kilgore quartet 1986-88, the Art Abrams Swing Machine Big band 1988-90, salsa/latin group Urubamba,and the Ranch Dressing Western Swing Big Band. In 1989 Dan co-founded the unique trio Tall Jazz, a vibes/bass/drums trio which performed in the US,Canada and Japan. Logging over 2000 performances, In 2011 Tall Jazz was inducted into the Oregon Jazz Society Hall of Fame, and during its career recorded 6 projects for the PHD label.
Other performances and projects include the Clark College (Vancouver,WA) vocal jazz program (touring Washington,DC in June 2010), vocalist Barbara Blair from Victoria,BC, guitarist Eli Reisman, the Bryant Allard Quartet Released a recording 'Influences' in 2010) , Bill Beach and his band Brasil Beat, the Pacific Crest Symphonietta (conducted by Thara Memory), Ellen Vanderslice (3 recording projects) , Gordon Lee, Larry Adair, DC Big Band,the Pacific Jazz Big Band and the "Radio Revue Orchestra" led by Marv & Rindy Ross (Oregon Trail Band & Quarterflash). In 2013 Dan performed with the Oregon Symphonic Band as part of a concert series featuring a performance of a special composition for jazz trio and symphonic band. In 2005 Dan performed the suite for 2 pianos and jazz trio by Claude Bolling as part of the Bravo Vancouver (Wa) concert series. In June of 2010 Dan performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington,DC with the National Honor Choir as part of the NEMC national music convention. In 2010 Dan also performed at the Newport (Or) jazz festival with vibist/drummer Chuck Redd (member of the Smithsonian Jazz Project -residing and teaching in Washington,DC) and again with Chuck in 2012 at Clark College in Vancouver,Wa.
As an educator, Dan teaches privately, organizes bass clinics throughout the area, is a clinician for local school music programs, and was jazz band instructor for Wilson High School (Portland, OR) 1995-97 and jazz band instructor at Oregon episcopal School 2009-2012. He was a member of the Portland Community College Music Career Curriculum Advisory Board, and adjunct music faculty of Marylhurst University.as well as adjunct for West Linn ,Lake Oswego, Beaverton Academy for Arts and Music, and Cleveland (Or) high schools. Since 2006 Dan has been a rhythm section clinician at the University of Portland Jazz Festival. He is also in demand for studio session work and production of recordings for various artists.
In addition to an active career as a 'sideman' to many jazz groups and vocalists Dan appears regularly with George Mitchell (pianist), Bryant Allard (trumpet), Lee Wuthenow (sax), award winning vocalist/pianist John Gilmore, Marilyn Keller at the Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg,Or. Dan's projects include the Portland Jazz group featuring pianist George Mitchell (pianist for Diana Ross since 1985) ;the 'Swing Pilots' trio with Dave Johnson .guitar and Jim Buchmann ,clarinet,sax(headline artist at the San Diego jazz festival November 2014); and the 'Presley/Presley' group featuring Dan's daughter Katie on trumpet (when she's not on the road with the internationally acclaimed group MarchFourth!)
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From the first notes of this CD’s opener, “Thou Swell,” it is obvious that Rebecca Hardiman is a superior jazz singer. She has a clear and very appealing tone, it is very easy to understand every word that she interprets, and her singing is full of joy. In addition, she swings at all tempos and is a very good scat singer. There are times when she sounds a little bit like early Nancy Wilson but she is a more adventurous and harder-swinging vocalist If I had to come up with a criticism about her singing, I would be at a loss for words.
On Easy Living, Rebecca Hardiman is joined by some of the top straight ahead jazz musicians from the Pacific Northwest. Her husband Ray Hardiman is a perfect accompanist and a strong soloist, bassist Dan Presley and drummer Ron Steen provide tasteful support and there are plenty of colorful bop-oriented solos taken along the way by trumpeter/flugelhornist Bryant Allard and saxophonist/clarinetist Laird Halling.
After the exciting version of “Thou Swell” which includes a hot trumpet-alto tradeoff and a fine piano solo, “Give Me The Simple Life” is given an exuberant treatment, highlighted by Ms. Hardiman’s exchange of phrases with trumpeter Allard. Her medium-tempo version of “Easy Living” could be used in a classroom to teach other singers how to make a ballad their own. When she changes the notes of a melody, it adds to the emotional effect and the general excitement.
Each of the 14 songs other than “Harold’s House Of Jazz” (which is based on “Cherokee”) are veteran standards. All benefit from these treatments. Among the other highlights are one of the finest versions of Gil Evans’ “Boplicity” ever recorded (the scat-singing is inspired yet sounds effortless), the revival of “Harold House Of Jazz” (which was recorded previously by Richie Cole), a swinging “Put On A Happy Face” and a jubilant “They All Laughed.”
Rebecca Hardiman’s Easy Living is one of the most delightful jazz vocal albums of the past year and is highly recommended.
Scott Yanow, author of 11 books including The Jazz Singers, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76
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