When I went out for dinner last week at the popular Winnie's Restaurant where good live jazz meets good company little did I know that it was going to be an exceptional evening. A live band of soulful krooners played a couple of old school jazz and after a while, a young man and his dad (this I didn't know at the time) joined the band with the dad on the piano and the son on the drums. I could not help but notice the change in ambiance as soon as they started playing. The tempo quickened, the vibe ignited and the sound became fuller and rich. I could not help but marvel at father and son action change the whole atmosphere instantly. I do have my musical interests, but have not in my life witnessed a boy of this age play drums at the level of skill he did. He exuded confidence, calm, control and experience that caught my attention. When they finished playing the father came over for conversation and told me a story I would like to share with you today. I had just witnessed an amazing 13 year old young man named Daniel (Danno) Petersen III go through his normal drum session.
Who is Daniel Petersen III
Daniel or Danno (stage name) is a 13 year old boy who was born into a musical dynasty which he has fully embraced. He is endorsed by Yamaha and Anatolian Cymbals since the age of 4 years of age. This is a major achievement for any artist let alone a boy of his age, coupled with a global stage. This is a plausible achievement for South Africa's young democracy. Danno received a full scholarship to study at the Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp from June 27- July 15. Even the president of the Louis Armstrong Satchmo Summer camp is quote to have remarked that ‘This young musician is phenomenal. He would be an asset to the program’. According to his father, Danno is the youngest university student in Africa after going to the University of the Western Cape at age 11 on completion of his grade 5 normal school. He recently completed his grade 8 music qualification through Trinity College UK and will graduate from Trinity College UK with his LTCL - music Licentiate in November 2016. The LTCL compares with the South African Qualification Authority standards and is equal to a NQF LEVEL 6. This will make him the youngest person in Africa with a degree in Music. His Yamaha advertisement was voted under ADFOCUS – Financial Mail by more than a million people in the top 20 most liked ads on TV out of 70 000 commercials. He is also one of the youngest artists to record a demo album at Capital Records Hollywood in January 2015 and he also performed on the Movie Soundtrack Kalushi – Biopic of Solomon Mahlangu. Danno played at Madiba's 90th, 93rd and 95th birthday celebrations and also at a fundraiser for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital. The Daniel Petersen Foundation was formed through which he helps underprivileged children to obtain musical instruments to reach their own dreams.
Inspiration from Danno
What made me want to write about Danno is his story as told by his father which stands out among other successful artists. Danno was born after several unsuccessful pregnancies and he then struggled with speech only starting to speak at the age of six years of age and yet he is now doing motivational talks around schools speaking to his peers about hope, hard work and not giving up on their dreams. His slogan is "its never too late to start" and he also speaks about discipline to achieve your dreams. When you meet Danno he is a normal 13 year old boy but when he sits on those drums he is no boy but an artist par excellence on a mission to conquer the world. Danno is turning 14 this year and will be doing a home coming and birthday concert celebrating 10 years as an endorsed artist at Winnie's Soul and Jazz Restaurant on the 1st of October 2016. I hope you can make time to attend the show should be around Johannesburg in South Africa during this time. Danno is quite a remarkable young man who is carrying a positive message for young children across the world. Check out the link above for more details on the event and you can also see Danno's brief journey and talent depth in the video attached. Connect with Danno and support his foundation through his Twitter page, Instagram or on his new Website from where you can book tickets for his upcoming show.