Initially a drummer in his high school jazz and concert bands, Daniel Sadownick began his serious involvement with percussion instruments as a student at New York University, inspired by the musical magic pounded out by conga players in Washington Square Park. In the late-1980s, after earning an undergraduate then graduate degree at NYU in Musical Education, the Bronx native toured with jazz vibes giant Lionel Hampton’s Orchestra for two years. He’s been a reliable presence on the New York City jazz scene ever since, recording and/or playing gigs with notables like Nicholas Payton, Dewey Redman, Dennis Chambers, Christian McBride, Nat Adderley, Nestor Torres, Mike Brecker, Dianne Reeves, and Carl Allen. Sadownick’s own solo album, There Will Be a Day, was well-received upon its release in 2008. He is a skilled songwriter.
Sadownick, an ambidextrous one-man percussion section, is expert and passionate on congas, bongos, bata, tumbas, quintos, cymbals, cowbells, and an assortment of shakers, claves, and shells from around the world. He creates all sorts of wondrous grooves: Afro-Cuban, Latin, Haitian, American jazz, pop, r&b, and soul. His rhythmic prowess has benefitted award-winning pop albums by Al Green (Lay It Down) and Steely Dan (Two Against Nature). Among other marquee names he has accompanied in the studio or onstage are the Screaming Headless Torsos (he’s a band member), Jennifer Lopez, Maxwell, Angie Stone, and Me’shell Ndegeocello.