Steeped in modern and traditional jazz, classical music, Indian ragas, Brazilian bossa nova and choro, rock, funk, African, experimental and various fusions, Dan Magay is a fresh voice in saxophones, flute, and clarinet since he returned to the West Coast from New York in 2005. Born in Los Altos, California, Dan grew up surrounded by music. He started clarinet studies at age 9 and added saxophone at age 10. During his high school years he studied clarinet with Don Carol (San Francisco Symphony), Bill Menkin, and Michael Corner – and saxophone with Mary Fettig, Mel Martin, Burt Corelli and Rory Snyder. While in high school Dan performed with his own classical wind quintet, jazz combo, the California Youth Symphony, the Monterey Jazz Festival Big Band, and many All State Wind Orchestras and All State Jazz Bands.
From 1988-90 Dan attended the University of Sourthern California as a music major, where he studied privately with clarinetist Yahooda Gilad (Los Angeles Philharmonic), classical saxophone with Doug Masek and jazz with Bob Sheppard – along with many other inspiring teachers. In 1991 he transferred to the Berklee College of Music (Boston) in order to focus more on jazz performance. At Berklee he studied privately with George Garzone, Bill Pierce, Joe Viola, Jerry Bergonzi, Hal Crook and continued studying classical clarinet with Peter Cokinias. He graduated magna cum laude in 1994. After leaving Berklee, Dan continued his education with Victor Morosco on saxophone, clarinet and flute. Presently Dan is studying classical Indian music with Satish Gadagkar.
Dan moved to New York in 2000 and helped form “The Hub” along with Tim Dahl and Sean Noonan – an eclectic jazz trio that toured extensively in Europe, Japan and the U.S. from 2000-2004. Some of the Hub’s influences were Busta Rhymes, Charles Ives, Slayer, John Zorn and Miles Davis, and formed an original sound which filled clubs in New York and Europe for a period. Dan also continued to soak up the hybrid of grooves, world music and avante garde, experimental and mainstream rock and jazz. He played tenor, alto, soprano saxophones, clarinet and flute in a variety of musical contexts with various bands including African music with Thierno Camara, Brazilian music with Sylvana Magda and lots of straight-ahead jazz.
He moved back to the Bay Area in 2005 and has been performing with a wide array of groups spanning vast ranges of styles and sounds, including the Fil Lorenz Jazz Orchestra, the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Funky Buela, The Avatar Ensemble, the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, the Ernie Smalls Jazz Orchestra, Chester Smith, Donald Bailey, as well as groups of his own such as the Wind Up Trio. He also teaches extensively.