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Jon Dahlander can’t walk by a piano. He has to play it. It’s why he’s been kicked out of countless hotel lobbies, bars and restaurants throughout his life.

“To me, every piano has a story—where it was made, who made it, the kind of shape it’s in, who played it before and what it sounds like now, particularly with one of my songs,” says Jon. “So, if I see a lonely piano, I have to play it. It’s like finding a new friend with a common interest.”

It’s why Jon’s series of piano solos isn’t morose or mundane. These are pieces of music that bask in the joy of being played.

In 1995, Jon signed on with Dallas-based Carpe Diem Records and his debut was the label’s fastest-ever selling debut.

1997 brought the release of Piano Landscapes v.2, a CD inspired by a trip Jon took to Europe after studying the piano works of Maurice Ravel and Erik Satie.

V.3 was released one week before Jon and his wife Heidi gave birth to a special needs child named Jared, effectively sidelining his recording career for a few years.

Since then, while he has not recorded any new music, Jon has played in some of the top venues in the Dallas area, including the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Sammons Center, where he headlined a concert for a Dallas arts organization called Inspirata.

In 2006, Jon is lending new piano material to a project called Luminas, which is designed to assist cancer patients through the use of guided imagery.

“I know all about the healing power of music,” says Jon. “One of the times when our son was in the ICU of the hospital, a family whose child was dying asked to borrow one of my CDs. To walk by later and hear that my music was helping ease their pain during the most difficult of hours makes every ounce of energy I’ve ever spent with the piano worth it. If my music can help others, then that’s the icing on the cake.”



Reviews


Charming and astonishingly graceful

author: Thomas Connor-Tulsa World


The follow-up to his impressive solo piano debut is equally charming and astonishingly graceful. The beauty of Dahlander’s expressive playing is that it rises so far above the excess of sentiment or the strain of purpose given to many of the solo pianists you’ll find lurking sullenly in the New Age section. Like George Winston, Dahlander composes with great concern for the lyric line of each piece, but he’s somehow more carefee than Winston, his hands (particularly the right) lighter and skipping a bit higher than Winston’s contemplative walk. These pieces bask in the sheer joy of being played, even when focusing on someone obviously close to Dahlander’s heart in ``The Strawberry Princess’’ (a touching piece whose melody, I think, plays on Dylan’s ``License to Kill’‘). The theme of the debut was the ocean; this one focuses on mountains and the wonder therein. His reference points are regional — ``Sangre de Christo,’’ ``Arbuckle Sunrise’’ — and each thought beautifully surmised. Dahlander looks to be a constant source of joy.



Discography


JON DAHLANDER: Piano Landscapes v.1

JON DAHLANDER: Piano Landscapes v.3


JON DAHLANDER: Piano Landscapes v.2

© 1997 Carpe Diem Records (009323102422)




Melodic, relaxing solo piano—perfect for a quiet day around the house or for background at an elegant dinner or Sunday brunch.tracks




1 Bright Shade

2 First Snow

3 Sangre de Christo

4 The Strawberry Princess

5 Close to Home

6 Peaks and Valleys

7 Fifteen Octobers

8 Arbuckle Sunrise

9 Pining for Trees

10 Alpine Journey

11 Wherever You Are

12 Evergreen Rain

13 First Gymnopedietry this
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