Dan Jacob Wallace is a composer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer based in New York City.
Since the release of his 2006 album Neon and Gold, of which Mark Suppanz of The Big Takeover magazine wrote, “It’s hard not to fall for this intoxicating and expertly-crafted LP,” Wallace has been steadily establishing himself as one of the more adventurous voices in music today. Michael Mee of Americana UK had this to say about Wallace’s 2007 follow-up to Neon and Gold : “Put simply, Culture Of Self is about daring to be different, and the magic that comes when you do. Even if it were only half as good as it is, it should be treasured for its originality alone.” And of his 2008 release, Reattachment, Jon Worley at Aiding & Abetting wrote, “He not only blenderizes just about every song on this album, he does so with a style and grace that is almost unthinkable.” Two songs from Reattachment were also included in the acclaimed documentary American Artifact: The Rise of American Rock Poster Art.
His latest album, Den of Maniacs, referred to by Mark Suppanz of The Big Takeover as an “unqualified winner,” has continued to garner positive response from fans and critics.
Wallace, who recently took a break from music to study philosophy at Columbia University (GS 2015, summa cum laude), is currently prepping material for new albums and writing exploratory essays on a range of topics, including consciousness, social group ontology, and free will.
A sampling of Wallace’s past projects include fronting the indie rock band The Pindrops, scoring music for theatre and film, serving as co-Director of the Chicago Chamber Music Collective (who also premiered his first chamber works in Chicago), and organizing critically acclaimed concert series of contemporary classical music. He is also a CAAP Grant recipient.
(expanded history coming… some day…)
Wallace was born in Philadelphia and moved every few years thereafter to a diverse range of settings, including a small village in Germany and a trailer park in Mississippi. In 1993, after an ill-suited and short-lived stint in the Air Force, he made his way to Chicago, where he lived for 18 years before moving to New York City.
Wallace began playing guitar at age 13, starting with the chords to “Raising Hell” by Run-DMC. Within a handful of months he was playing along with records by the likes of Frank Zappa, Randy Rhoads, and Charlie Parker. It also wasn’t long before he was inspired by J.S. Bach, Conlon Nancarrow, Lili Boulanger, Dmitri Shostakovich, and others to begin composing chamber and symphonic works (he studied composition with Dika Newlin in Richmond and Patricia Morehead in Chicago), which would be his focus until he discovered Caetano Veloso and Jacques Brel in his mid-20’s and began writing songs.
George Lawler (of Mucca Pazza, Jamoflage, and Bobby Conn) plays drums on all four albums and all live shows to date that have included a full band. Guest musicians live and/or on recordings include Emanual Ban on violin, Grace Hong on oboe, Elisabeth Johnson on violin, Eve Monzingo on clarinet, Brett VanDonsel on bass.
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