Currently playing ragtime piano in Minneapolis, MN, Daniel Rottenberg’s foray into piano began at the age of four. His mom taught him chords and scales and easy songs, and as he progressed, he eventually began learning classical piano. Daniel wanted to be the next Mozart for a long time, composing his own pieces and flying through classical compositions. But by age twelve, Daniel discovered something new.
In Durango, Colorado, his hometown, Daniel met famous ragtime pianist Johnny Maddox at the Diamond Belle Saloon in the historic Strater Hotel and everything changed. Daniel learned Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” and “Maple Leaf Rag” and fell into the rabbit hole of ragtime piano. He spent the next five years studying jazz and ragtime, and throughout his remaining years in Durango he played at the Diamond Belle Saloon. During this period, he competed in the Old-Time Piano Playing Championship Junior Division and was featured in several school talent shows.
Daniel moved for school in 2012 to attend Metropolitan State University of Denver. He studied Physics, then Theatre, and finally settled on English and Film. In the meantime, Daniel played at the Bull and Bush, Dazzle Denver, and the Ship Tavern in the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa. He joined the University of Colorado Denver’s jazz ensemble The Claim Jumpers. With them, he regularly performed for the Denver Jazz Club, played sets around the city at various clubs and venues, and performed at festivals such as the Summit Jazz Festival, the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival, and the Evergreen Jazz Festival. Daniel has been featured at the Durango Ragtime Festival and the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival.
After graduating college in 2018, Daniel moved to Wilmington, North Carolina where he began playing at the local speakeasy The Blind Elephant, Circa 1922, and Tails Piano Bar. Aside from bar and restaurant gigs, Daniel also performed private concerts around town.
Now in Minneapolis, MN, you can find him playing piano at Volstead’s Emporium, Dangerfield’s Restaurant, and Nucky’s Speakeasy, among other places. Check out Daniel’s full calendar of upcoming ragtime piano gigs in Minneapolis.
Daniel always accepts requests at his gigs. View his updated repertoire here.
When he is not playing piano, Daniel writes fiction and poetry, and was previously a fiction reader for Raleigh Review, a literary journal based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is currently working on a horror novel about the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster in Durango. Daniel lives in Minneapolis with his girlfriend, Lindsay, and their cats.