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A conversation with Dani Lopez Martin

Dani Lopez teaches Contemporary GuitarElectric GuitarJazz &Blues GuitarAcoustic Guitar, Jazz Manouche, Ukulele Lessons, Music Theory, and Music Editing at the Shine School of Music. We asked him some questions:

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What first got you into music?

I have been making music since I was very young, and as it often happens, my entry was purely incidental since my parents decided that maybe it was good to do it. From there, little by little I became hooked, when I realised the great power that music to express sensations and feelings.

Who inspired you to make music?

During my life I have been inspired by many diverse artists, from Bach, Schumann, Mark Knopfler, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Django Reinhardt, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Frank Zappa, Mr. Bungle, Lachenmann and Scelsi, to mention only a few… One of the incredible things about art is that there are always new artists to discover, each one opens new worlds to you and redirects your way of feeling, thinking and your speech.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

It is difficult to classify what I do, since I change styles and interests quite frequently. Right now I am immersed in Jazz Manouche, a style whose main figure and founder was Django Reinhardt. The history of this guitarist is exciting, since due to an accident he had to change his way of playing, and consequently created a new jazz trend.

What is your creative process like?

The creative process is a topic that I could go on about for ever, since it is the result of who each person is and what they like, and therefore, it also changes over time. Right now I think that to create in an honest way, it is vital to unleash the music that one intuitively wants to listen / sing / express. The brain is often fickle and many times, the best ideas appear at the most unexpected moment, so it’s great to always have a tape recorder on hand!

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

That choice is very tricky, but it would certainly be a privilege to work alongside Jacob Collier, since he has a very broad understanding of music.

If you could open a show for any artist who would it be?

Since I am currently immersed in Jazz Manouche, it would be great to open a show for any of the great musicians work in the style today, musicians like Sebastien Giniaux, Adrien Moignard, Antoine Boyer or the band Les Doigtes de l’Homme.

Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

Of course I sing! The first thing that comes to mind! We all know that everyone sounds good in the shower, and when I shower you are as likely to hear Sabina as Elton John or something akin to John Coltrane

What has been your favourite venue to perform in? 

The concerts I enjoy the most are those where I am focused and present in the music, it can be quite a journey. The worst thing that can happen to you at a concert is having your head everywhere except the music you are playing.

Where is the place would you most like to perform? 

Anywhere there is a good public!

Which famous musicians do you admire?

I have already mentioned some of my references in previous questions, the truth is that if I had to mention them all, they would not fit on this page!

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

The best advice has been to remind me of my great luck in making music and being able to teach it, since it is something that fulfils me and connects me with others.

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

The Internet has impacted all aspects of our lives, music undoubtedly one of them. It has changed the way in which we make it, share it and consume it.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

If I could change something, it would be to boost and facilitate live music. It is incredible to see how in other countries people listen to live music much more frequently, regardless of whether they know it previously or not. Here in Spain people have become accustomed to paying little or not paying for live music (except for the concerts of the great stars, where the price is very inflated), so let’s say that the musician’s salary is affected by profound inequality . It is not only about having places to play, but it is also necessary to foster curiosity, the desire to discover new forms of art and artists, and undergo an experience of discovery, where you may not know where you will end up! This, which was more common before, is being lost in the present, where entertainment is encouraged as a form of escape, not as a channel for discovery.

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for lockdown?

I would be giving face-to-face classes with my students (although we are using distance learning (skype/zoom etc) a lot, and it works quite well). I miss them! I am also sure that I would be jamming and playing in the sun with my musician friends.


Take a lesson with Dani by contacting us, and follow him on Instagram for photos, videos and music!