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Genres You Will Love
Moods: Type: Acoustic New Age: Contemporary Instrumental New Age: Solo Instrumental

By Location
United States - Texas

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Jon Dahlander

Jon Dahlander’s backstory as a composer of piano solos is as unlikely as it is redeeming. How it ever happened in the first place is one thing; how it continues to evolve because of life circumstances is quite another.
In the end, Jon’s music is still about one thing: channeling and expressing various emotions through the piano. He draws upon various influences that include 60s and 70s pop, rock, jazz, French classical music and hints of gypsy folk.
His songs are accessible without being too simple and engaging without being pretentious.
His fourth CD, Songs for Smiler McGee, comes following a 17-year break between his last full-length CD. In between, Jon and his wife Heidi experienced the joy, challenges, triumphs and ultimately pain of raising—and losing—a medically fragile child. Jared, who was born with a rare genetic syndrome, died just days before his 14th birthday. The songs on “Smiler McGee” (one of many nicknames for Jared) are, for the most, songs created as a form of catharsis that reflect the ups and downs of Jon’s family’s journey.
Jon’s first three CDs (Solo Piano v.1-v.3) were recorded in the 1990s for Dallas-based indie label Carpe Diem Records (Rhett Miller, Pop Poppins, Course of Empire, Café Noir). While not breaking any sales records, Jon’s compositions were described as “sooth(ing) and enchant(ing) for the sheer and seemingly effortless joy of it.”
In 2007, during a time when Jon had all but given up the idea of ever recording again, his music was added to Pandora’s (the Internet Music Genome) playlist and, like a snowball rolling downhill, slowly gathered momentum. His songs have now been streamed more than 100 million times and he is considered a mainstream artist by Next Big Sound, a tracking service created by Pandora.
Jon's love for playing the piano started when he would sneak into piano practice rooms in high school and college to create songs without words. In every new city where he moved following college (Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Ardmore, OK), he made it his mission to find pianos, mostly on college campuses, where he could practice as much as he wanted. He finally bought his first piano for $100, found in a dusty back room of an antique shop, then spent months cleaning it up and getting it back to playing condition. He eventually sought out one of his piano idols, Allaudin Mathieu (Windham Hill, Narada), who agreed to give him piano lessons by speaker phone.
A Dallas-based record company heard about his music from one of Jon's high school friends and offered him a record contract but Jon wasn't crazy about their initial plans to market the music. He instead linked up with Carpe Diem Records through a mutual college friend. The Piano Landscapes series mainly includes original compositions but also has a version of Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent (Psalm) and Jon's reading of Erik Satie's First Gymnopedie.