Australian drummer/percussionist/composer/arranger Daniel Susnjar (born 1980 in Perth, Western Australia) has performed and recorded with world-class artists including Chick Corea, Steve Miller, Bobby McFerrin, Gretchen Parlato, Joshua Redman, Greg Osby, Sam Rivers, Terence Blanchard, Danilo Perez, Dave Douglas, Chris Potter, Gary Burton, Pharrell Williams, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Ky-Mani Marley, Gloria Gaynor, Geoffrey Keezer, Sammy Figueroa, Jon Secada, Kevin Mahogany, Paul Bollenback, Take 6, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Arturo Sandoval and Dave Grusin, to name a few.
Daniel has recently completed 5 years of study at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he completed both his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees, and was a Teaching Assistant in the highly-regarded Studio Music and Jazz program. Daniel was also selected as a Henry Mancini Institute fellow (under the artistic direction of Terence Blanchard), and member of the Frost School of Music Concert Jazz Band (winner of the 2010 Downbeat Award for Best Graduate Level Large Ensemble).
In January 2011, Daniel visited Peru to undertake intensive study into Afro-Peruvian drumming as part of his Doctoral Dissertation and has been performing in New York City and Peru with the Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet since late 2010. Daniel’s research into Afro-Peruvian rhythms formed the basis of his DMA dissertation entitled “The Application of Afro-Peruvian Rhythms to the Drumset for Use in a Contemporary Jazz Setting” and also the formation of his ensemble The Daniel Susnjar Afro-Peruvian Jazz Group, featuring all-original compositions inspired by Afro-Peruvian rhythms. His debut album Su Su Nje is now available in CD and digital format.
In addition, Daniel has performed with the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, the Frost Symphony Orchestra, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and the Western Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra Composer’s Ensemble, which performed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics Arts Festival.
At age 17, Daniel won best drum soloist in Western Australia (1998) and earned runner up in Australia's Best Up and Coming Drummer competition in 2002.
The 2008 Perth Jazz Society commission was awarded to Daniel for the creation of a 60-minute original work influenced by ethnic music from Spain, Mali, Hungary and Egypt. The live performance of this work was recorded on location by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in June, and was broadcast Australia-wide on ABC’s Jazztrack radio program.
Additionally, Daniel has won numerous Australian jazz awards for outstanding performances and recordings including the ABC Limelight Magazine Award for Best Jazz Achievement in 2009 for the Tom O’Halloran Trio recording “We Happy Few.”
Daniel has studied with drumming greats including Bernard Purdie, Keith Carlock, Kendrick Scott, Clarence Penn, Dom Famularo, John Riley, Ari Hoenig, Billy Ward, Gary Husband, Mark Mondesir, Carl Allen, Steve Rucker and Hossam Ramzy.
He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and is back on faculty after returning from the United States.