Saxophone and woodwind recording artist
Los Angeles, CA
BA Music, University of North Texas
(Shorter version of Dan's biography)
DAN HIGGINS first distinguished himself as an outstanding saxophonist while attending University of North Texas. He played lead alto in the 1 o'clock lab band and can be heard on Lab 76 and Lab 77. He taught both saxophone and improvisation and was a member of the 1976 State Department tour to Russia. Dan has been a guest at the University of North Texas lecture series and played in the 1997 50th anniversary Alumni All-Star Reunion Band.
Dan has worked with bands and jazz artists such as Phil Woods, Louis Bellson, Dave Grusin, Eddie Daniels, Tom Harrell, Gerry Mulligan, Stanley Clarke, Arturo Sandoval and George Duke. As a member of the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin big band, Dan recorded two albums and toured Europe and Japan. He can be heard on jazz albums with Quincy Jones, Arturo Sandoval, Bill Watrous, Rosemary Clooney, Wayne Bergeron, Sammy Nestico, Gordon Goodwin's Phat Band, Wayne Bergeron, Diane Schurr and Pat Williams. Dan contributed 2 arrangements on the 2013 Grammy winning CD of Arturo Sandoval “Dear Diz”. Dan was a part of the Barbra Streisand Las Vegas New Year's Eve Concerts 1994 and 1999 and the following U.S. tours.
As a Los Angeles based professional and a member of the "Jerry Hey Horn Section," Dan has recorded with such noted artists as Phil Collins, Jose Feliciano, Cher, Natalie Cole, Randy Newman, Babyface, Dave Matthews Band, Katy Perry, Whitney Houston, Harry Connick Jr., Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Kenny Loggins, Ringo Starr, Al Jarreau, Clint Black, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Queen Latifa, Roberta Flack, Barbra Streisand, Brian Wilson, Michael Buble, Stevie Wonder, Joe Cocker, Stanley Clarke, Earth Wind and Fire, Patti Austin, Burt Bacharach, John Mayer, Frank Sinatra, Andrea Bocelli, Bette Midler, Rod Stewart, George Benson, Dirty Loops, Neil Young and Blake Shelton. When I Fall in Love, with Natalie Cole, produced by David Foster, features Dan on tenor sax. He is also a featured soloist on numerous albums including Quincy Jones’s Basie and Beyond, Gordon Goodwin's Swinging for the Fences and Wayne Bergeron's You Call this a Living.
Dan's varied talents on saxophones and woodwinds make him a sought after session musician in the film, TV and record industry. Dan is the solo alto saxophone voice of Bleeding Gums Murphy from the TV series, The Simpsons. The Academy Awards, Emmys, Grammy Awards, SAG Awards, Peoples Choice Awards and Espys are just a few of the live TV specials he has played. Dan has worked on 700 motion picture scores and is a featured saxophone soloist on the scores: Catch Me If You Can, Ray, Sideways, Awakenings, The Notebook, Benny & Joon, What Women Want, A Bug's Life, Mouse Hunt, White Palace, and Sleepless in Seattle. Other motion picture credits include: Chicago, Meet The Folkers, Polar Express, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, The Patriot, The Emperor's New Groove, Men of Honor, Toy Story, The Bodyguard, Seven Years in Tibet, Liar, Liar, A League of Their Own, City Slickers, Father of the Bride, Pretty Woman and Batman Forever. Such notable composers as John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Marc Shaiman, Randy Newman, David Newman and Aaron Zigman call on Dan to play their film scores.
Under the direction of John Williams Dan has been a guest soloist with noted orchestras such as the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony and the New York Philharmonic performing the John Williams piece Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra. This work was a featured part of the 2003 PBS TV series Evening at the Pops. Under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel, Dan was featured with the LA Philharmonic at the 2014 Gala Concert. This concert aired in 2015 as a PBS “Great Performances” special.
Warner Bros. hired Dan to produce, compose, arrange and play the period music in the motion picture “Gangster Squad” set in historic 1949. Other arranging credits include music for artists Andrea Bocelli, Bette Midler, Lyle Lovett, Pussycat Dolls and film scores “Princess and the Frog”, “Water for Elephants” and “The Notebook”