Dan As Pianist

As a pianist, Daniel Rufolo exhibits a diverse repertoire and a vibrant, transmittable energy.

In 2010, Dan received a Bachelor’s Degree in jazz performance from William Paterson University and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in 2013. Throughout his studies, he received instruction from musicians such as Mulgrew Miller, Dave Liebman, Harold Mabern, Rich Perry, and Jim McNeely. Under the wings of Professors Lisa Yui and Elka Kirkpatrick, Dan discovered his passion for classical and western concert music, which has made him a versatile and imaginative pianist.

Dan has engaged audiences with his original music and spirited performance throughout New York City and New Jersey at venues such as the Blue Note, Cornelia Street Cafe and Shanghai Jazz. 

In 2009, he brought together the Dan Rufolo Trio with Arthur Vint (drums) and Bill Thoman (bass), to record his debut album Novelty. According to JazzCorner, "Novelty is thought provoking, invigorating, and you'll find yourself holding your breath not to miss a note. The Dan Rufolo trio is always thinking forward while making sure to keep a grasp on the jazz tradition." 

In 2011, the Dan Rufolo Trio recorded a second album, Laughter, with the addition of Rich Perry (tenor sax) and Nathan Eklund (trumpet). Time Out New York described the band as "spry yet reflective.”

Bright, released in 2013, was produced by a collective that Dan leads called Life Size. The band is comprised of some of the best young jazz musicians from around the globe, including Chicago, New York, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Helsinki. Life Size is a multinational collective of forward-thinking musicians effortlessly combining sophisticated compositions with intense improvisation. 

Dan’s music is constantly stretching the borders and limits. In 2014, Dan released Sacred Jazz, a solo piano album composed and recorded in a meditative manner. Complete with his original compositions, jazz standards and a few hymns. The album received a 4.5 star review and C Michael Bailey wrote, “Simplicity and quietude are laudable goals in a jazz recording. They are often hard to pull off. Many artists wish to flex technical muscles in solo recordings and this is antithetical to simplicity and quietude. Pianist Dan Rufolo finds the sweet spot in the simple and still in his meditative suite made up of a baker's dozen of originals and standards whose orbit is somewhere around a Zen Christian spirituality.”

In 2016 Dan released Winter, an electronic indie-pop collaboration with singer Joyce Kwon. “Dan and Joyce are both classically-trained multi-instrumentalists, who together, form a witches brew of intelligent, brooding moods…“Winter” is a must-listen for electronic, experimental and dream pop enthusiasts, and anyone nostalgic for early-aughts indie.” - Hyphen magazine. 

In 2017 Dan founded Young Lion Audio; a small team comprised of highly experienced composers, innovators, and engineers dedicated to creating the perfect soundscape for any film project. Through his company he’s had the opportunity to score original compositions for various media. He has worked for many notable corporations including Prudential, PepsiCo, United Way, AECOM and Mozilla. His music has also been featured on HBO and used in various films. Dan’s music continues to evolve and has a lasting broad impact. 

In 2019 Dan released Jazz Meditations, and currently is composing for a handful of films, producing several albums and focusing his efforts to co-write a new musical, A Beat In June.