Dan Bodanis

The Dan Bodanis Big Band plays Jazz that everybody loves!

With a rich history of individual accomplishment, the musicians in The Dan Bodanis Big Band have collectively performed as sidemen and band leaders for Diana Krall, Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, Cleo Laine, Dizzy Gillespie, Moe Koffman, Peter Appleyard, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, Buddy Rich, Billy Cobham, The Brecker Brothers, Santana, Lighthouse, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and more!

Featuring the very finest Studio Musicians in Canada, The Dan Bodanis Band have been engaged to perform for American Presidents: Obama, Bush 1&2, and Clinton; Canadian Prime Ministers P.E. Trudeau, Chrétien, Martin, Mulroney, Clark, and Campbell. Dan’s smaller band, The Dan Bodanis Band, was selected as the official Jazz Band of the G20 Summit in Toronto. The Dan Bodanis Band also performed for several other world leaders. Additionally, the band has performed for Miss Universe, The Rogers Cup International Tennis Tournament, the Inauguration of Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, and several other top-profile events on stage, film, radio, internet, and television.

If you like jazz from the “Great American Songbook,” The Dan Bodanis Band, featuring Bernie Senensky and Steve Wallace performed every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Azure Restaurant and Bar, for years, in the Intercontinental Hotel.

June 2021, Dan Bodanis was recognized and awarded with the “50 Year Pin for Outstanding Contribution and Musicianship,” by the President of Local 149, of the Toronto Musicians Association/American Federation of Musicians.

As a Professional Studio Drummer, Dan performed on the TV Show “Live It Up, for many years, played on countless TV/Radio Commercials, and more ‘45’s & albums’ than he can now remember!

Dan combines a keen sense of musicianship & extensive education with a very high business acumen, having kept his smaller band, “The Dan Bodanis Band,” steadily employed for over 25 years, performing ‘Jazz from the Great American Songbook,’ for the very highest profile events.

The finest musicians love sharing a stage with Dan because he treats them so very well, pays them prior to every performance and has managed to ensure that at every performance, the band is extremely well fed!

In addition to decades of studio work and live performances, Dan also played with several Big Bands, over a period ranging from 1977 to 2008.

March 2020, Dan had just completed his (2-3 hours a day) practice routine, and watched a Netflix commercial for a special on Frank Sinatra, that he had not seen. After watching the special “All or Nothing at All,” Dan was inspired to follow through on a decades-old dream of having his own Big Band. With the strong encouragement of his wife, Kelly, Dan wrote out a detailed business plan, invited several well respected businesspeople/senior politicians/world renowned musicians to become members of the ‘Dan Bodanis Big Band Steering Committee,’ and then set out on a path towards the realization of his dream — and the ‘Dan Bodanis Big Band,’ was formed.

With more than ‘a little help from his friends,’ especially Musical Director/Baritone Sax Player, Tom Skublics, who shared a mutual passion for ‘Dim Sum,’ from a great Chinese Restaurant in Mississauga Ontario Canada, called, “Summit Garden Chinese Restaurant,” Dan & Tom put together the Dan Bodanis Big Band, solely based on attracting people that they would love to have Dim Sum with, either on a one-on-one basis or as a 19 piece collective of friends – who also happen to be world-class musicians, Jazz Professors, Studio/Theatre Musicians, and virtuoso performers.
On March 5th 2022 the Dan Bodanis Big Band had its first rehearsal, at West Edge Church, with great audio/studio Engineer Jeff Wesseling recording every arrangement, ‘Live to Pro-Tools’ — and the results were inspiring! Every arrangement sounded like a finished recording, and from that point forward, gig requests began pouring in, and rehearsals continued.

On May 10th 2022, due to the kind patronage of Honorary Band Member/Jazz Impresario/Owner of Summit Garden Chinese Restaurant, Mr. Ken Choi, the Dan Bodanis Big Band performed its ‘World Premier Engagement’!

The engagement was a charitable fundraising event, hosted by Mr. Choi and Summit Garden Chinese Restaurant, to raise money for the Refugees of Ukraine. To raise awareness and to help aid in this humanitarian crisis, the Dan Bodanis Big Band played to a ‘jam-packed, sold out’ house, at $150.00 per ticket, and helped tremendously, toward raising $45,000, which was immediately deployed by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) through the CUF ‘Boots on the Ground’ initiative, in the most needed parts of the Ukraine.

With many years experience in vetting and selecting charities to support, forming committees, chairing fundraisers, running/MC’ing/ and performing at charitable fundraising events, Dan has connected and become friends with a wonderful group of business professionals/political professionals, and amazingly dedicated citizens, who tirelessly give of themselves, in service, towards the greater good of the community at large.

Amongst those wonderfully inspired & inspiring individuals, Dan would like to acknowledge the profound contribution of the following people, who worked very hard in support of launching the Dan Bodanis Big Band: Kelly Bodanis; Sabian Bodanis; Summit Garden Chinese Restaurant Owner/Honorary Member of the Dan Bodanis Big Band, Mr. Ken Choi; Mississauga Mayor, Bonnie Crombie; Mississauga Ward 10 City Councilor, Sue McFadden and her Executive Assistant, David Raakman; Riverwood Conservancy Chairman, Kevin Sherwin (R.I.P.), (former)Musical Director/(current) Baritone Sax Player, Tom Skublics; Doug Duboff at E-Jazz Online, Jeff & Kim Caniff, at ‘The Poly Band Stand,’ in St. Louis; Naren & Sheila at Instant Imprints; Recording Engineer/Sound Light Technician, Jeff Wesseling; Current Musical Director/Alto Sax Player, Mike Wark; Peel Crime Stoppers Chairman, Imran Hasan; Peel Regional Police Superintendent & tremendous Jazz Supporter, David Kennedy; Legendary Master Chef from ‘Capra’s Kitchen,’ Massimo Capra; Senior Financial Advisor and strong community supporter, Mr. Naguib Kerba; Master Musicians: Pat LaBarbara (Buddy Rich/Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra), John LaBarbara (Buddy Rich); Chris Byars (WDR Big Band/ Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra/Wynton Marsalis; Randy Waldman (Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, George Benson); Cash Box Magazine Writer & wonderful Jazz Guitarist, Bill McDonald; great friend and incredible man of charity, Walter Kritzky; and…

Every person that has listened to me, on a daily basis, about the Dan Bodanis Big Band, from the beginning of March 2020 to the present, where I am entirely committed and totally obsessed about bringing the music of the Dan Bodanis Big Band to every possible stage, to share the sheer joy of this wonderful music and to create a perpetual space of ‘enjoyment & employment,’ for the incredible musicians that I have the distinct privilege of sharing a stage with!

Thank you, all!

Dan Bodanis
PS. Hope to see you soon at an upcoming performance of the Dan Bodanis Big Band!

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