Daniel Tones is an award-winning percussionist who has given concerts across Canada, the United States, Asia, and the United Kingdom. He has performed with internationally recognized artists Bob Becker, Russell Hartenberger, Aiyun Huang, Morris Palter, and Steve Schick, and has been broadcast nationally on radio and television. Daniel studied with Salvador Ferreras, Russell Hartenberger, and John Rudolph, and was the first person to receive a doctorate in percussion performance from a Canadian university.
Daniel is widely recognized for his work as a contemporary percussionist in the fields of solo and chamber-ensemble performance. Recent highlights include tours in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States; performances at Birmingham’s BEAST FEaST, the Vancouver New Music Festival, the Ojai Festival, and the Banff Summer Arts Festival; recitals in major international venues, such as the Barbican’s Milton Court Concert Hall in London, England; and guest appearances with the TorQ percussion quartet.
For more than 20 years he was a first-call percussionist in Vancouver, Canada, where he was engaged by a wide array of ensembles and organizations, including Vancouver New Music, the Turning Point Ensemble, Music on Main, and Redshift. He was a founding member of Fringe Percussion and a driving force behind the ensemble’s artistic vision, programming, and musical collaboration. Daniel has premiered music by dozens of local and international composers, including John Luther Adams, Mark Applebaum, Bob Becker, John Cage, Jocelyn Morlock, Jordan Nobles, and Owen Underhill, and remains committed to advancing the art of percussion. Now a resident of Sooke, BC on Vancouver Island’s rugged and dramatic west coast, he continues to create, explore, and perform new and innovative music in distinct environments.
Global drumming traditions first drew Daniel to percussion. He studied frame drumming, West African drumming and dance, Balinese gamelan, and Cuban percussion with master musicians, and performed professionally in salsa ensembles for over 10 years. For ten seasons he was the Principal Percussionist of the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, and he has also performed with the Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria symphonies, the CBC Vancouver Radio Orchestra, and the Vancouver Opera.
Daniel is a successful leader and administrator dedicated to the development of the performing arts in Canada and abroad. He served for six years on the Board of Directors for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and for five years was the Chair of the Percussive Arts Society’s International Committee. Some of his most significant contributions to the performing arts locally and regionally came through his work as a Program Coordinator for the District of West Vancouver. In this role he designed and implemented private and group music lessons, summer camps, drama, and musical theatre classes. Under Daniel’s leadership from 2009 to 2017, enrollment in these programs grew from 70 students to 270 and his instructional team expanded from three to 18. In 2023, Daniel accepted a position as Director, Career and Skill Development, with BC’s Ministry of Education and Child Care.
From 2007 to 2023, Daniel taught at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, served as Chair of the Music Department from 2019-2023, and was an Associate Dean pro tem. At various times throughout his career, he also taught as a contract instructor at Douglas College, Simon Fraser University, and Vancouver Community College. Daniel has collaborated with students through workshops and residencies in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and in recent years was the Percussion Coach for the Canadian Wind Orchestra, the National Youth Band of Canada, and the Prairie Music Residency. As a Yamaha artist-educator and Sabian endorser, he continues to receive support for his educational activities.
Dr. Tones is the recipient of fellowships from the University of Toronto, the Government of Ontario, and the University of British Columbia, and individual grants or awards from the British Columbia Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Vancouver Foundation, the Fund for the Arts on the North Shore, and the SOCAN Foundation.