High-energy, emotionally-charged rock ‘n’ roll with brilliant melodies seeping out of every pore, Dan Orlando’s music is at once intoxicating and unforgettable; he is a pianist and a pop craftsman, a singer/songwriter for whom music is more than the universal language: It’s the only language.
Blessed with perfect pitch and a multi-octave vocal range, Dan has been a professional musician for nearly half of his 27 years. “Music,” he says, “is the most honest form of expression for me. I get across my emotions much more clearly through music than I do through words or body language.”
The West Grove, PA native was something of a child prodigy who knew Mozart before he knew his ABC’s. Indeed, he was one of those rare kids who loved his afternoon piano lessons.
The life-changer came later. Young Dan was digging through Dad’s CD collection when he pulled out Elton John’s classic Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and put it on.
“It was like this lightbulb went off in my head,” he remembers. “I didn’t know a piano could do that. At that point, all my experiences with it were classical and pretty rigid.”
One by one, the tumblers clicked, as Dan Orlando devoured the Elton John catalogue, as well as the iconic mid-period albums of Billy Joel and other singer/songwriters who delivered the dynamics through piano, articulate lyrics and pure, soulful vocals.
He also fell hard for Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury, for his elastic voice and his anything-goes English Music Hall theatricality. He fed his soulful side by absorbing the sounds and styles of Motown greats Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.
Later on, he studied jazz, and in college his favorite artists were Keane and Coldplay - “Any band that featured piano prominently, great playing in a way that felt like it reached average, everyday folks that weren’t musical, I was struck by that,” he says. “So I didn’t care what era it came from. My interests as a fan were driven by my wanting to be a piano player.”
Today, with the Dan Orlando Band, his unique blend of pop, rock, R&B and balladry is connecting with fans of every genre, from every generation.
And that suits Dan Orlando just fine.
“I want my music to have a timeless quality,” he explains. “But I can’t force it. I can’t write with that in mind. I want to create stuff that people of my generation can’t wait to show their grandkids someday.”
Whatever happens, music is what keeps Dan Orlando going. And going. “I really don’t have a choice,” he confesses. “I’m a lifer. I’m a willing prisoner of this.”