Dan Angotti, founder, bandleader, bass guitar (2010-2019)

Dan Angotti, the original bassist and founder of the Danjo Jazz Orchestra, was inspired to put together a big band when he returned home to Kent, Ohio in 2010 after a long career of playing live music in Los Angeles. Originally, the idea for the band was just to have fun; to be a rehearsal band. Ever since Danjo's first rehearsal on May 4th, 2010, the band steadily grew as a local favorite, attracting attention from Northeast Ohio's best musicians. Dan's inspiration for founding Danjo traces back to his time as a student at Kent State University.

While he was studying music at KSU, Dan played bass in the jazz department's "B" big band under the direction of jazz pianist Bill Dobbins, who was a graduate student at the time. The top band, known as the "A" band, had a monthly residency at "Eddie's Stag Bar" - now a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant. This early experience gave Dan the idea of a recurring gig. He was also fortunate enough to see the bands of Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, and Stan Kenton live at Idora Park in Youngstown, OH. 

Dan moved out to the west coast to pursue a career as a professional musician in Los Angeles. While living there, he began collecting big band charts, and also acquired an additional electronic library of charts from a cruise ship gig. Thus, the Danjo book was starting to form. When he decided to remove himself from the L.A. scene and move back home, he began calling friends he knew in the area from school to start up the band now known as Danjo. Among the first band members were guitarist Mike Delaney, pianist Stewart Freedman, and drummer Roy King. After getting together enough horn players, Dan ran the first Danjo rehearsal with only 10 charts on May 4th, 2010 at "The Bat Cave" in downtown Kent. 

From there, Dan took the band to the Ohio Music Shop, Water Street Tavern, and The Venice Cafe - all in downtown Kent. The band became a household name in the city and played every Tuesday at one of these venues. Eventually Dan got the band involved in other local festivals, community events, and live music venues, such as Jilly's Music Room. He continued to lead the band for nine years and expanded the library to over 150 charts. Dan also made a conscious effort to always give local college students the chance to play in the band. 

In June of 2019, Dan officially announced his retirement from leading Danjo, and handed the band down to trombonist, composer, and arranger Andrew Wegierski, who had been playing with the band for two years, started as just a sub, and eventually ended up in the bass trombone chair, as that's what Dan needed at the time.  Since July of 2019, Andrew has led Danjo from either the trombone section or up front as the conductor.

 

Andrew Wegierski, bandleader, bass trombone, composer/arranger

Andrew Wegierski is a bandleader, trombonist, drummer, composer, arranger, and teacher. He graduated from the University of Akron in the spring of 2019 with majors in both jazz studies and music composition. Andrew is currently the bandleader and bass trombonist of his own Danjo Jazz Orchestra, based out of Kent, Ohio. Other groups he has performed with include the NEO Jazz Orchestra, the NEO Jazz Collective, College of Wooster Jazz Ensemble, Skatch Anderssen Orchestra, NEO Sound Orchestra, and the Freedom Brass Band. Andrew is also currently the drummer for Polka Revolution.

 

As a composer and arranger, Andrew has experience writing for jazz, classical, and pop settings. From 2016-2018 he was the primary composer and arranger for the University of Akron Jazz Trombone Group. In 2018, Andrew was commissioned by Jack Schantz to score four arrangements for guest artist Victor Provost, and also presented his work at the Akron Sundance Film Festival that same year. In 2019, he was invited to have a work performed at the Cleveland Chamber Symphony Young and Emerging Composer’s program. Andrew has received numerous commissions for classical solo works including: trombone, tuba, and vibraphone. Today, Andrew continues to score compositions and arrangements for his Danjo Jazz Orchestra.

 

Andrew has been employed by Playground Sessions, a New York based piano learning software company, since November of 2017 and has scored over 75 piano arrangements that are published in the application. Additionally, he serves as a technical support representative, assisting customers online and over the phone. As an instructor, Andrew has experience teaching brass and percussion, both in group and individual settings.

Saxophones

Pictured left to right:

 

Adam Grom - Lead Tenor

Ephraim Miller - Alto 2

Jim Witherspoon - Lead Alto / Soprano

Steve Wendelken - Tenor 2

Richard Willis - Bari

Other saxophonists who have been featured in Danjo:

Jarrett Barr - Lead Alto

Lisa Roznovsky - Alto

Matt Corey - Lead Tenor

Dale Yee Dong - Tenor

Sam Sandman - Bari

Trombones

Pictured left to right:

 

Jim Weltman - Bass Trombone

Bob Hoefler - Lead Trombone

Tyler Reymond - Trombone 3

Elisabeth Shafer - Trombone 2

Other Trombonists who have been featured in Danjo:

Wil Myers - Bass Trombone

Eric Dregne - Bass Trombone

Chris Wortman - Trombone

Trumpets

Pictured left to right:

 

Chuck Rickard - Lead Trumpet

Evan Foltz - Trumpet 2

Ethan Symonds - Trumpet 4

Tim Coyne - Trumpet 3 / Solos

Other trumpeters who have been featured in Danjo:

Chris DeMarco

Mark Russo 

Bob Westbrooks

Rhythm Section

Pictured left to right:

 

Frank Margida - Drums

Jeremey Poparad - Guitar

Rob Sobnosky - Electric & Upright Bass

Not pictured:

Stewart Freedman - Piano

Other rhythm players who have been featured in Danjo:

Emma Donkin - Piano

Rock Werhmann - Piano

Bryan Thomas - Bass

Rich Moore - Drums

For our full song list, please contact info@danjojazzorchestra.com

Spoon BagAndrew Wegierski
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© 2020 Danjo Jazz Orchestra