monterey jazz festival

Dan Papaila is a jazz guitarist whose roots are firmly planted in the blues. Dan honed his bluesy style playing with R&B legends Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Big Joe Turner, Plas Johnson, and Johnny “Hammond” Smith among others.

At age 16 Dan was given $60 by his mother to acquire a guitar from a local pawn shop. Within two years he was working in local pop groups. It was around 1970 that Dan familiarized himself with the work of Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell and George Benson. His Los Angeles years found Dan working in Los Angeles with various trios. “Nearly all the clubs on the South side of Wilshire Boulevard had Hammond B-3 organs,” he recalls. “I payed lots of R&B Dues with Billy Larkin, Cleanhead Vinson and Big Joe Turner among others.” In 1976 Dan began what would become a definitive association: he started working with organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith. The Hammond Smith years found Dan traveling the “Chitlin Circuit.
Then it was back to R&B, co-leading a fusion group with Tower Of Power keyboardist Roger Smith in Sacramento before Dan’s move to San Diego. Since then he has enjoyed success locally and on the jazz festival circuit.” …Leonard Feather

Dan’s recordings have received critical praise and international attention. “Positively!” reached #11 on national radio and was named “Best Jazz Album” at the San Diego Music Awards. Dan’s televised performance at the awards ceremony aired regularly on BET, the cable jazz network. “Full Circle” spent 10 weeks on the national charts and was nominated “Best Jazz/Blues Album” at the San Diego Music Awards – Dan’s fifth nomination.

Artists that Dan has performed with include:
Big Joe Turner, Percy Mayfield, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, DR. Lonnie Smith, Hank Crawford, Plas Johnson, Johnny “Hammond” Smith, Blue Mitchell, Frank Butler, Billy Mitchell, Sherman Ferguson, Mat Marucci, John Heartsman, George Cables, Dianne Schuur, Randy Crawford Jack Wilson, Jimmy Smith, Richard Reid, Herbie Hancock, Rickey Woodard, Eddie Harris, Frankie Laine, Roger Smith, Ronnie Foster, Andy Simpkins, Larance Marable, Mike Woffard, Holly Hoffman, Bill Heid, & Tony Monaco.