By likemindblog


DAN PETRONI first became interested in playing  guitar at the ripe old age of 13. At first, is was a way of getting girls interested in him but then became a form of self expression.  As Dan puts it:  “I ended up getting the girls, but the creative process and self expression elements where so much more fulfilling. Of course I wanted to become well known and a highly paid artist, and performer/Song Writer, but the music business has little to do with aesthetic, and I an very happy to create and perform and teach. I started to get interested software design which isn’t that dissimilar to composing music. These skills have helped me focus on being an artist in the sense I can perform/compose and create music on my terms and not just for a commercial market, and the music industry formulas.    My audience is growing everyday and my music is starting to find its way into the hearts of more people… That is what it’s all about.”

No. 1)  What is music to and for you?  (generally and personally)

Dan, welcome and thank you for doing this article for us.  There’s a lot to learn here, dear readers, let’s get to it!

Music to me is a form of prayer not in the religious sense but in a spiritual sense. It is the connection of history, life experiences, and the creative process.  I once asked a Japanese artist that came from the Calligraphy of Bodhidharma school of arts to draw me music, he took out his bush and painted a bird. I thanked him and still to this day l can visualize his drawing.

Like a painter, or writer I as a musician/composer I start with a blank page or canvas. TheDAN PETRONI dp at asbury Blues level of detail or depth of ones composition is based on many factors, musically training, and tonal perceptions and story line.   Every musician starts on a musical continuum based on his musical awareness, training talent and influenced by  his or her time in history.   Music to me is journey, filled with new paths, and discovery.

Getting back to the question what is music. That technique is the organization of musical, tones, perhaps similar to the question of what is painting, but in organization of colors or pigments. Now, that being said, that of course is a very general statement. To a musician or composer silence or should I say pauses is the canvas that we work in.  I am a guitarist that has been trained in Jazz improvisation; however, I grew up playing Rock ‘n Roll and Blues. I have a deep love of using compositional elements; that use harmonic forms/structure and improvisation.

What is music to me personally?  Well, it a state of my spirit and mind, a form of intimate spiritual expression at its highest form. I enjoy working with great musicians no matter what the style.  Music can be Zen like, if you are thinking too hard to creating something wonderful musically you can’t always, but if you let go and let the music take you and rely on your intuitive senses and listen, the music will flow and has a way becoming organic.

No. 2)  What inspires you?

Many things inspire me, for example: children laughter, love, lost, pain, beauty, political events, social economic, sorrow, kindness, and nature, freedom. I just finished a song where I got the melody from a bird. Really, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It is very simple melody fragment, a root to a major third and then a four. I used that bird’s musically fragment to write a song “One More Day”.  Music and rhythm are all around us, one only has to be still and listen. I get inspired by studying and listening to music; Jazz masters, composers, and folk, rock, and funk. It depends on what musical project I am working on at any given moment, or a mood I am in. Lately I have been working on “The Danny Petroni Blue Project”, where I have been writing in the electric blues/rock style. I had to revisit the great blues guitarist, Lonnie Johnson, BB King, Buddy Guy, Furry Louis, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, etc.  The 12 or sixteen bar blues is a simple but elegant form. It requires an emotion connection, and vocal phrasing of the guitar within the content of the song to really touch the audience. I have a few really wonderful, musical artists, and visionaries working with me on the project, Frank Lacey my old friend master trombonist and composer/arranger, Gary Oleyar master musician and fantastic violinist, Tc DAN PETRONI Mar 17 2011_6369_edited-1Tolliver on drums, and Kevin Brennan on bass as well as a group of local Asbury Park musicians.

I perform every Wednesday night at Chico’s house of Jazz here in Asbury Park, NJ. I have been working and perfecting this show with hopes it gets picked up by promoters and gets booking for concerts and festivals. I use the second half of our show to bring local musician, and players in a jam session format. This being in the classical sense of a Jam session where musician can come together and create music with no restrictions, experiment within the song forms, and just have fun. Young musicians can learn, or just hone their craft, and learn form the more seasoned cats. A great man once told man, “You could only keep what you have, by giving it away”.   

No. 3)  When you are playing, creating, where does it take you?  I mean where does your mind travel?

Performing, or creating music seems to be like a form of Zen, whereas if you are trying to create something marvelous, and you’re concentrating, thinking about the process it doesn’t flow. But ask any musician when you get in the zone, the music seems to play though you as if you are watching from afar. In general if I am working with great musician they can inspire me to perform, create at a higher level.

Depending on what kind of gig I’m on, if I’m reading, and a conductor my focus is on nailing my part and a traveling mind isn’t a good thing.  However, soloing is like having a conversation, where you are only limited by your musical vocabulary.

Again where my mind wanders depends on if I’m writing or performing. If I am composing music it depends on what stages I am in for a composition or song. Some time a melody, or harmonic or rhythm, lyric reveals itself entirely.  Sometime designing the melodic/harmonic or rhythmic transitions of the composition or arrangement reveals itself quickly, and other times it comes be slow process. I guess it’s like having a baby, except some deliveries are very difficult and may grow up to disappoint you.  But hey, they are still my children and I love them each one of them ;->

No. 4)  Do you think music, playing music, visual arts and health are relatedDAN PETRONI dp Twisted and if so, how?

Yes. I believe that being creative in ones life no matter what one choose as media is very healthy.  I read that cancer patient that watch comedies and had good belly laugh did better with treatment and make quicker recovery.  The visual Arts/ Film/ Music can relieve stress, can connect us to our humanness, it can provoke us into action, it can be enriching to the spirit. It is very powerful stuff.

No. 5)  How do you feel when you are playing music?

Well if your drummer is off and your bass player is off key… it can be challenging. As a professional musician you can perform at a high level generally, just like an athlete, however, there are the moments when you get into a zone and perform as if you are a bystander and the music take you to a higher level to a place, Zen like moments of musical clarity. If you ask any musician these are the moments we live for.

No. 6)  Do you identify to your music and if so, on what level?

I am my music in every sense of that word, warts and all. I have been working on a blues project for the last six months, which has had me look at and study some of the great blues guitarists. Coming from a Jazz guitar point of view it took some adjustment, and musical approach changes that has enriched me as a musician. Music like myself is always evolving, my tonal awareness, melodic awareness is always a work in progress. As a person and musician I try to be a little bit better person and musician every day. It’s endless.  I started a blues jam after my show of my group, “The Danny Petroni Blue Project”. Great players have showed up and created some great musical sets.

DAN PETRONI dp casinoI have been using the blues as a platform, which can bring in musician whom may not have jazz improve chops, or know jazz tunes. My intentions are not to restrict the creative process of improvisation to Jazz cats only, but to make the Jam Session accessible to all musicians. So, if you are a classical trained musician or Rock/Funk player bring it on. The blues, if done correctly is mimicking the human voice, for that matter all music mimics the voice.  Music touches everyone’s spirit; it marks different events in our life. I make no judgment on any style of or form of music that can touch our hearts and soul.   I explain to my young son once, that in this world there are people who use a candle to view the world and there are others who use flashlights, spotlight, and some people have stadium lights and then there are few people where they have the aesthetics vision of the sun. For myself… I just keep trying to upgrade my flashlight, and have fun, and create music.

No. 7)  Under what conditions do you work best?

Performing is a highly physical and mental state, so I perform well if I have rested or worked out either riding my bicycle or going to the gym and have time to nap and warm up before a show. Composing music I usually work well during the late hours or when ever I get inspired.  Those would be the perfect conditions, but reality has a way of poking its head up, and sometime setting up for a gig and making the count off  is all ya can do.     

No. 8)  Do you find playing music helps you connect with your higher self, whatever that is for you? 

Music can reach into my consciousness and the unconsciousness of the mind and spirit.  Release any tension or conflict, or even illuminate emotions on a non verbal level. This can be a very healing process.  But there are some nights where just performing a good level is the best you can do. 

No. 9)  How do you feel about creativity in the public school system? DAN PETRONI DSCN1538_Danny @ChicoBikeGroup1

I am a product of the Trenton public school system. I had music class in elementary school into high school and was very fortunate to have wonderful musicians and teachers. Art and Music education has shown to raise children’s cognitive abilities in math and science.  I believe not only do we need music education in our public school but on a national level in America’s living rooms and locally.

No. 10)  In your opinion, what could be a simple solution to improve creativity in the public school system?

Music/Art programs in our public/private school are as important as the ABCs and should be included in every school program. However, in these tough economic times, these are the first programs to be removed. Understanding that a majority of young students my not have the aptitude to become musicians or artists, just being exposed to the Arts can help foster creative thinking.  I believe that grants to get artists into the public school to teach and show young minds the process of improvisation on a simple level. There are some great programs, Jazz Mobile, The Young Jazz series sponsored by WBGO at Newark Jazz Museum. 

No. 11)  What is jazz to you? 

Wow, that is a complex question. Jazz is an American classical music form, utilizing improvisation on either standard songs, or within tonal center.   Jazz encompasses a few hundred years of musical styles, and changing approaches.  Jazz is life, life is Jazz, a tritone can save your life, or help you make a living.

DAN PETRONI dp&FenceNo. 12)  How do you feel about improvisation?

Musical improvisation is a language and a form of communication between musicians.  A musician can express and create his/her ideas within a song structure, and create melodies, base on the harmonic or melodic property of any given song. Now, for the heart felt question to your question, improvisation is life.

We can plan on how we wish our lives will flow, but you have to react and make a decision to go right or left, up or down based on you knowledge and experience. Sometime, life or music can bring you to a wonderful place, and other times you might fall down an elevator shaft. To me, reaching and trying to play something I have never played is very exciting. Now, that being said, we musician have a bag of trick that we can use to play on rhythm changes, or changes that work, but when a musician reaches and tries play something beyond… it is one of the most wonderful feeling to experience and to watch unfold.

Let’s face it… improvisation is a non verbal form of story telling. The best story tellers take their audience on a journey.

Because we love music, we play music, we write music, and we are dedicated to keeping the rich heritage of American music alive through live performance.

Again Dan, you’ve shared so much with us, of your thoughts and feelings and life experience, thank you from the heart, you have been most generous.  Be blessed and hopefully we’ll work together again!


You are cordially invited to visit the links below to find out more about Dan.  Your comments are always appreciated, thank you and enjoy!





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Filed in: MUSIC • Friday, September 16th, 2011


By Warren Benbow on September 16th, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Tres’ Cool!

Michele- Thank you very much and keep swinging.

BEYOND Tres Cool! Reading AND listening to ‘I done changed my ways’ made my day! May your creative musical vibes spread through the world fast & furiously…I’ve seen Danny and Ku’umba ON FIRE in Ashbury Park recently…not just music to my ears, but TRULY ‘a Healing Force’.
.-= Dree Andrea´s last blog ..In bookstores now! =-.

By elke from austria on March 9th, 2012 at 8:21 am

soo nice to hear that you are fine and still making music…..~34 years after getting to know you in Vienna….

Please do not stop your great post. I will continue to read all of your post.

It sounds like we agree and see the same things happening. As much as I believe custom design is the better option, it’s hard to tell someone just starting out they have to invest thousands in a site, while they’re still trying to figure out a business model.


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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours