Dan Brunskill is a graduate from Leeds College of Music Conservatoire specialising in jazz. A leading saxophonist in his year, he won the conservatoire BA Music (Jazz) prize in all three years he was studying, for receiving the highest mark in his year. The high regard the college held him was also reflected in the fact Dan was a member of both of the Leeds College of Music Big Bands throughout his time at the college, an honour usually reserved for more senior students. This extended to being a featured soloist at The Manchester Jazz Festival, promoting the jazz night B-Side at Leeds College of Music.
In 2016, Dan was a semi-finalist in The BBC Young Jazz Musician of The Year Competition. His quintet also won the Jazz Originality competition at Leeds College of Music. The prize being a sponsored recording session which was used to promote composition at the conservatoire.
Dan was classically trained until the age of 17 when he was awarded scholarship to The Sage Gatesheads’ music school to study jazz, and received tuition from Graeme Wilson, a founding member of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.
Whilst at the Sage, Dan auditioned and earned a place in the North-East regional jazz orchestra as lead alto saxophone. This gave Dan a number of high profile performance opportunities including Manchester Jazz Festival, Gateshead International Jazz Festival and headlining Hall One at The Sage Gateshead with a youth big band from New York. These were led by prestigious jazz artists such as Andy Sheppard, Tim Garland and New York based saxophonist Roy Nathanson.
Currently, Dan is recording and touring with Abstract Orchestra. A conventional Big Band made up of some of the UK’s in demand sessions players, Abstract plays a series of hip hop numbers. After the success of their Abstract Does Dilla album, the band completed two UK sell out tours, collaborating with singer and rapper Illa J, playing at venues such as The Jazz Café London, Band On The Wall Manchester and The Southbank Centre London.
Dan also regularly plays with The National Youth Jazz Orchestra as a formal deputy for the band. He records with his horn section for various pop sessions and festivals and has recently set up a Sax & Piano Duo called My Ideal.