April 11, 2014
Danny Jonokuchi, at 22, has proven to be one of the most unique and dynamic musicians to arrive on the New York jazz scene. Through his music, he strives to establish an honest and soulful conversation with the listener. Given a natural affinity for captivating melodies and a distinctive approach to harmony, he composes works that speak to audiences in a profound way. His trumpet playing is characterized by a warm, dark sound and is reminiscent of Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard and other luminaries in the trumpet lineage.
Danny was exposed to music at a very young age and has been playing piano since he was 4. At the age of 8 he received a trumpet from a close family friend and in the years to follow he showed promise as a musician. In his teens he began to hone his talents in jazz and classical trumpet at the music program of Agoura High School and workshops like the Stanford Jazz Residency and Boston University Tanglewood Institute. In 2008, he moved to Philadelphia to attend Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance. There he studied trumpet with Terell Stafford, composition with Dick Oatts, arranging with Norman David, and piano with Joshua Richman. In 2012, he graduated from Temple U having received the Jon Katz scholarship and the Boyer Alumni award.
In 2008, at the age of 18, Danny formed and conducted his own 17 piece big band. For three years the band performed around the Los Angeles area at numerous venues including Catalina Bar and Grill. Danny has also performed at The Bimhaus (Amsterdam, NL) The Jazz Bakery (Los Angeles), The Apollo Theater (Harlem), The Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), and Dizzy’s Club Cocoa Cola (New York).
In addition to the big band, Danny leads an electric band known as the Danny Jonokuchi Experiment and a sextet that he has performed with in various venues in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, and Europe. He currently lives in Brooklyn where he continues to expand his musical ideas as a leader and as a sideman for other projects.
Danny has composed works for big band, small jazz ensembles, featured vocalists, string ensembles, brass, and choir. His music is deeply influenced by a love of classical music as well as jazz composers like Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Tadd Dameron, Thad Jones, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock.