Al Daniels is an accomplished, well rounded artist and musician. While still in high school he won his first award for his musical talents. His classical performance on piano in the Young Musicians Competition (sponsored by Pepsi) won him a new piano and an appearance with the San Francisco Symphony. So, it was no surprise when he won recognition in the recent Jazziz Magazine Keyboards on Fire Competition for his original jazz composition \"Intimate Pursuit\". He was featured in the April 97 issue of that magazine.
He was drawn to the piano at age 7, playing mostly by ear. After some formal lessons, he moved onto classical study with Bay Area pianist Jules Haywood. By the end of high school, he had won the Young Musicians Award and continued on to two years of college at San Francisco State University. Upon entering college he was equally adept at playing jazz piano because of his talent for playing by ear. He was further guided in jazz playing by John Handy, who was just beginning the jazz studies program at State.
His progress towards a bachelors degree was continued at Cornish Institute in Seattle, WA. There he studied with bassist Gary Peacock, trombonist Julian Priester, and pianist Art Lande. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Cornish and was awarded a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) Degree. He recently completed study requirements and has been awarded a Master of Music Degree from Californina State University, Los Angeles.
Performing mostly in the Los Angeles area, he leads his own ensemble. Most recently he has appeared providing keyboards for saxophonist Ronnie Laws, and the award winning jazz group CJS Quintet. As co-founder/keyboardist/arranger of the Riverside-San Bernardino group JASPER he wrote original music for that group which featured stellar reed players such as Gerald Albright, Everette Harp, Brandon Fields, Steve Tavaglione and many others.
In addition to playing keyboards Daniels is a vocalist as well. Two vocal numbers appear on his \"Life in the Balance\" CD, and he sings “Imaginary Movie” on the \"Themes in Search of a Movie\" CD. He has also written songs for the gospel group The Jackson Family which have been released on A&M Records and Sony/Epic Records.