Batavia resident Dan Anderson first picked up the tuba as a fifth-grader in the Batavia band program, though he claims that his interest in music was initially sparked when, at age nine, he discovered his uncle’s trumpet in the attic. Despite advice to the contrary, he was not content to stick with one instrument, and experimented with baritone and trombone. Anderson is known now for his skill in a variety of jazz stylings: traditional, 1920s, Classic 1950’s, Latin and modern.
Dan attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he learned bass. An opportunity to see the Woody Herman Band swing in person convinced him that the world of jazz was where he belonged.
College experience included the University of Illinois and Northwestern University. Dan traveled to Germany to audition on bass and tuba for an opera orchestra, but failed to get the gig. Instead, he “freelanced with a wide range of jazz and classical groups,” playing everything from “Oktoberfest tents” to the Nüernberg Philharmonic.
Dan’s musical experience ranges all over the physical and “genre” maps. He has played “with some pretty big name people.” He has been the guest tuba player with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and with orchestras in Milwaukee, Lake Forest, and Elgin. He has performed with the Illinois Philharmonic and Chicago Pops orchestras, and can be heard regularly with the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. His talent has been enjoyed by audiences at Broadway in Chicago and Aurora’s Paramount Theatre.
Anderson has been invited to sit in as a guest tuba player for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has performed with nearly every orchestra in Chicago with the exception of the Lyric Opera. Among the symphonies and orchestras with which he has performed are groups in Milwaukee, Lake Forest and Elgin, as well as the Illinois Philharmonic, Chicago Pops, Broadway in Chicago and the Paramount Theater in Aurora.
Dan can be heard as a string bassist with the Chicago Brass Quintet, Von Freeman Quintet, Morgan Powell Orchestra and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. He has composed commercial jingles — and pieces for the Chicago Brass Quintet, which has performed throughout the United States, Canada, South America and Asia.
A gifted teacher, Anderson has conducted classes at DePaul University and Northern Illinois University. He currently teaches jazz bass at Columbia College in Chicago and tuba and euphonium at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Dan leads his own ensemble, Basso Neauveux.
The website “You Can Be Funny” has a page for tuba jokes — and Dan has a spot there, where he is described as “an exceptional jazz and dixieland player” (and that is no joke). Dan’s humor includes: “A tuba player walks into a bar…………….It cost him $175.00 to have the dent removed.”
A featured player on recordings by other artists, Dan’s discography credits include Kenton A La Russo: Live at the Jazz Showcase; Veggie Tales: Silly Songs with Larry; Thommy Gunther’s Taste of Chicago; On The House Tuba (Live); Morgan Powell: Orphans On The Road; Bucky Halker, Passion- Politics-Love; the Jazz Members Big Band of Chicago, Diggin’ In. Dan teamed up with his long time friend, Pat Bergeson (and fellow Batavia native), to record and produce Hippy Dance.
Topic: Dan Anderson
Researcher: Kevin Drendel
- Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, http://klezmerband.com/aboutus/bios/dananderson.html
- My Suburban Life, http://www.mysuburbanlife.com – (9/29/10 article, “Bass and Tuba Artist Dan Anderson Pops Up at Pheasant Run Champagne Brunch in St. Charles”
- www.you-can-be-funny.com/Tuba Jokes