Saxophone and woodwind recording artist
Los Angeles, CA
BA Music, University of North Texas
DAN HIGGINS first distinguished himself as an outstanding saxophonist while attending University of North Texas. He played lead alto in the 1 o'clock lab band and can be heard on Lab 76 and Lab 77. He taught both saxophone and improvisation and was a member of the 1976 State Department tour to Russia. Dan also was a recent guest at the University of North Texas lecture series and played in the Alumni All-Star Reunion Band.
Dan has worked with bands and jazz artists such as Phil Woods, Louis Bellson, Dave Grusin, Eddie Daniels, Tom Harrell, Gerry Mulligan, Stanley Clarke, Artura Sandoval and George Duke. As a member of the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin big band, Dan recorded two albums and toured Europe and Japan. He can be heard on jazz albums with Quincy Jones, Bill Watrous, Rosemary Clooney, Wayne Bergeron, Sammy Nestico, Gordon Goodwin's Phat Band, Diane Schurr and Pat Williams. Dan was a part of the Barbra Streisand New Year's Eve Concerts 1994 and 1999 and the following U.S. tours.
As a Los Angeles based professional and a member of the "Jerry Hey Horn Section," Dan has recorded with such noted artists as Phil Collins, Jose Feliciano, Cher, Natalie Cole, Randy Newman, Babyface, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Kenny Loggins, Ringo Starr, Al Jarreau, Clint Black, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Queen Latifa, Roberta Flack, Michael Buble, Stevie Wonder, Joe Cocker, Earth Wind and Fire, Patti Austin, Burt Bacharach, Frank Sinatra, and Bette Midler. When I Fall in Love, with Natalie Cole, produced by David Foster, features Dan on tenor sax. He is also a featured soloist on the Quincy Jones CD, Basie and Beyond, Gordon Goodwin's Swinging for the Fences and Wayne Bergeron's You Call this a Living.
Dan's varied talents on all woodwinds make him a sought after session musician in the film, TV and record industry. Dan is the solo alto saxophone voice of Bleeding Gums Murphy from the TV series, The Simpsons. The Academy Awards, Emmys, Grammy Awards, Peoples Choice Awards and Espys are just a few of the live TV specials he has played. Dan has worked on over 400 motion picture scores and is a featured saxophone soloist in the scores: Catch Me If You Can, Ray, Sideways, Awakenings, The Notebook, Benny & Joon, What Women Wants, A Bug's Life, Mouse Hunt, White Palace, and Sleepless in Seattle. Other motion picture credits include: Chicago, Meet The Folkers, Polar Express, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, The Patriot, The Emperor's New Groove, Men of Honor, Toy Story, The Bodyguard, Seven Years in Tibet, Liar, Liar, A League of Their Own, City Slickers, Father of the Bride, Pretty Woman and Batman Forever. Such notable composers as John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Marc Shaiman, James Horner, Randy Newman, David Newman and Aaron Zigman call on Dan to play their film scores.
Under the direction of John Williams Dan has been a guest soloist with noted orchestras such as the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic performing the John Williams piece Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra. This work was a featured part of the 2003 PBS TV series Evening at the Pops. Noted jazz club Steamers featured Dan with a night of jazz celebrating its 4th anniversary, hosted by the late famed DJ, Chuck Niles. Dan performed with the Quincy Jones Orchestra in the Bahamas for the gala opening of the Atlantis Resort Hotel.
As a writer, Dan has many publications in the jazz and classical fields, including clarinet and saxophone duets, quartets and jazz etude books. Dan's ensemble for nine saxophones, Clown Garden, was performed at the 1999 International Saxophone Convention.