About Dan Lefler
From the very beginning of his career, Dan had the uncanny ability to attract gigs and students. And lots of them. 10,000 students and 5,000 live performances later, Dan is still making music and running Danman's Music School today.
Dan began his flute adventure at age 20 when a friend loaned him a flute and he discovered he could play it right away. Dan later became a student of John Barcellona whom he studied with for many years. Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Dan attended Woodrow Wilson High School and California State University at Long Beach. Dan was a member of the Eta Beta Chapter of Sigma Chi at Cal State Long Beach.
At age 21 Dan got his first steady gig playing piano bar and flute couple nights a week at a club called the Windrose down on the water in the Long Beach Harbor. The year was 1981. And so it began Dan's career playing clubs and bars and restaurants for the next 30 years.
In 1988 Dan entered a talent contest for the local Chamber of Commerce and he ended up winning the night which landed him a gig at the Old Dana Point Wine Bar & Cafe in Dana Point, California. The propriater of the establishment, Alex McGeary, asked Dan to stay the rest of the night and entertain his guests. Dan obliged and that led to a steady gig that lasted 24 years. Dan played Sunday Brunches, weeknights, weekends, weddings, special events, you name it, nonstop for many years. Although there were many more steady gigs and performing history, I'll cut to the chase...
After about 12 years of being the "house band" at this same music club which later became the Renaissance, and now Stillwater, Dan noticed the space attached to the restaurant was vacant. He proposed that they lease him the space and let him try to make a music school of it. And on a handshake, the owners leased him the space.
Dan had been teaching music lessons for many years out of his house so it was an easy transition to start teaching at the music school. But he needed a name for his music school. Dan chose a nick name he had been given years earlier and so it was, Danman's Music School was born. The year was 1999.
It was a special building, right in the heart of town, with an ocean view, and built out of cedar over 100 years earlier. In fact the building is magical and was built in 1915 as the original community house and sales office of Dana Point in the 1920's.
Dan quickly turned this space into a music school that would really affect the community in such a positive way. What started as a 1 teacher operation, Danman's now has over 25 teachers offering music lessons 6 days a week. There is also a full service retail music store attached and a full service repair department! This leads us into our MISSION...