Artist Percussion Faculty
As a high school student, drummer Dana Murray immersed himself in music. He spent countless hours in the "woodshed" studying the masters and honing his skills. A native of Omaha, this "young lion" naturally began gigging wherever and whenever he could which included street corner performances. In the mid 90’s, Dana moved to Boston to attend the renowned Berklee School of Music on scholarship. Shortly thereafter, on the advice of the jazz legends Max Roach and Victor Lewis, a Omaha native, Dana moved to the center of the jazz universe, New York City. From the mid 90’s to the early 00's, Dana was a big part of the city’s scene. He toured the world with Wynton Marsalis and began gigging and recording with the likes of Donald Byrd, Jimmy Witherspoon, Roy Hargrove, Sherman Irby, and James Hurt, to name a few. Dana also played several Broadway shows, including the rock opera “Tommy”. Unlike many jazz musicians, Dana did not limit himself to jazz. Dana toured with the Soul Trance band Topaz and in support of jam band stalwarts Widespread Panic, performed with Atlantic records’ WaxPoetic alongside Norah Jones and Steely Dan singer Carolyn Leonhardt. Along with Malike Burke, Dana founded Reallive, a cutting-edge hip-hop group. Dana is also an A-list Producer who has produced records for a variety of labels including BlueNote. Dana recently produced Eric Revis’ new release “Laughters Necklace of Tears" as well as "Tales of the Stuttering Mime".
Dana returned to Omaha at the end of 2003 to raise his son Aleeke. The opportunity to reunite musical skills with longtime friend Mitch Town was exciting and he immediately began work on the new group, Von Angel. Combining 21st Century technology with an old-school attention to musicianship, Von Angel's upcoming album charts new territory on the modern music landscape.
Currently, Dana is one of the most in-demand educators in the Midwest. Dana performs many clinics across the country as a product endorser for Vic Firth drumsticks and Istanbul cymbals. Holding head percussion positions at Bellevue East and Burke High Schools for the last four years, his programs have been top performers in the state as well as winning multiple out-of-state contests. Creatively, Dana has founded Dojo Percussion, a non-profit youth organization aimed at building young talent. This ensemble spends most of the winter and spring months competing throughout the country. Through the power of music and percussive art, Dana aims to reach the masses.