Dan Menzone - Banjo
"Dan is a creative and powerful banjo player." TONY RICE - IBMA guitar legend speaks out
Dan Menzone was born and raised in Dudley, Massachusetts - a far place from the Appalachian Mountains and the origins of Bluegrass and the 5-string banjo. But don't let that fool you! Dan has been called a virtuoso of the bluegrass banjo. He has been recognized around the world as a strong, dynamic, prolofic banjo player. On May 12, 2011, he took First Place in the 2010 International Songwriting Competition for "Gone Beserk" off his Frostbite CD. While in 2008, he was recognizec by the International Accoustic Music Awards as a finalist in the instrumental category for "Menzone Drive" off the CD of the same name.
Dan's musical interests started in grade school, when at the age of 7 he took up the guitar at the urging of his teacher. After a few years of guitar playing, Dan was getting bored, he said in an interview with the Sunday Telegram and Gazette in June 1986, "back then, everyone was playing guitar, I was looking for something different." At 13, he made the switch to 5-string banjo. "I had heard it on TV a lot and said 'someday I want to play banjo'" said Dan in an interview for Banjo Newsletter in January 1991.
Before long, with strong support from his parents - Joseph and Evelyn Menzone - Dan was moving forward with banjo linquistics. After starting with the basics of Earl Scruggs, Dan studied under the great and influential banjoist Tony Trischka. As Dan stated in Banjo Newsletter, "get a base to start with and work in the direction you wish. Also, don't be afraid to take a chance, because it's the only way that you are going to learn."
Over the past 30 years, Dan has developed a truly unique banjo style. He combines the solid, traditional, Scruggs style with the fluid and melodic styles.
Dan currently plays regularly with the bluegrass group TrueGrass. Prior to this, Dan played with Traver Hollow for 19 years.
In addition, Dan has done some solo work, recording with great musicians as Wyatt Rice, Ron Rice, Rickie Simpkins, Ronnie Simpkins, Adam Steffey, Rob Ickes, Richard Bennett, Don Rigsby, and Roger Williams.
Dan has composed numerous original banjo tunes. His album FROSTBITE features four of his originals while MENZONE DRIVE highlights some of the more inspirational banjo tunes.
Dan has toured the Eastern half of the US, Canada, Novia Scotia and Europe.
Dan was featured in Banjo Newsletter as well as selected by a European magazine poll (Strictly Country Magazine) as one of the top 3 banjo players.
"Unsung banjoist Dan Menzone stands out among a group of fine instrumentalists here. He's a strong and versatile player, comfortable with hard driving Scruggs Style picking, the melodic style, and the musical flights of Tony Trischka." - Bluegrass Unlimited, March 1994
"Danny Menzone's crackling banjo is excellent. Not only does it provide driving leads and pushy back-up but it is just as powerful in areas where it isn't used at all - Danny having the taste and awareness to not make his instrument intrusive." - Ron Thompson, review of Another Sleepless Night, by Traver Hollow, 1986
"Danny Menzone's brilliant banjo style has helped define Traver Hollow." - Paul Harvey, 1999
"Dan Menzone is one of the great new-generation banjo players. His original tunes are inventive and have melodies that grab you from the start. He has a mixture of timing, taste and tone that reflects a lot of experience. He also knows how to pick a rythm section." - Sammy Shelor, Lonesome River Band, 2006
"Dan Menzone has the type of talent that one can only acheive from a lifetime love affair with the banjo." - Dan Tyminski