Dan LaVelle has been playing the guitar since he was 9 and did his first professional gig at age 12. Cutting his musical teeth on R&B/funk and soul of the 60s and 70s, he also has a strong background in all types of contemporary music styles from Brazilian to jazz. While just out of high school, he played local club dates and toured with many of the top bands in his hometown of Pittsburgh in the US. He was later invited to join the renowned R&B power band Pure Gold that toured across the US with acts like the Manhattan Transfer, Martha Reeves and many others in the late 70s and early 80s. During the mid-80s, Dan lived Japan where he did both song writing and club dates in the Kansai region of the country. In 1987 he arrived in Hong Kong as one of the first wave of Western musicians helping to build an international music scene in the Territory. Since then he has written songs for scores of top Canto-pop artists as well as the platinum-selling Filipino band – Side A. In 1998 he teamed up for several years with superb Asian contemporary vocalist Angelita Li in a highly acclaimed touring duo that showcased a strong Brazilian and jazz repertoire. In addition, later on while writing and arranging music for Disney and Pixar, LaVelle also began playing a number of local dates with top flight jazz vocalist Jennifer Palor. This eventually led to their recording of the critically acclaimed CD - Jenerations on Tableau Records in 2008, co-produced by Roel Garcia. He also works closely with nu-jazz vocalist Ginger Kwan as a composer and touring guitarist as well as with the superb Toyko-based pianist Yuki Makita. In addition, over the past few years, Dan has also teamed up with exciting Thai jazz vocalist Natasha Patamapongs on various live and recording projects throughout Asia. Dan LaVelle regularly plays a host of performance dates each month at various top venues in Hong Kong with the finest musicians and singers, allowing him to expand his musical creativity in new and interesting ways.
The American Guitar Academy
The Hong Kong iMusic Academy is the exclusive home to the branch studio of The American Guitar Academy (TAGA), based in Tokyo, Japan. We warmly welcome those who wish to learn guitar whether it’s rock, jazz, blues, pop, contemporary or other style. The TAGA course is taught by internationally renowned contemporary guitarist, composer, arranger and producer Daniel LaVelle from the US. He has written songs for local Canto-pop singers, including: So Wing-hong (蘇永康), Gigi Leung Wing-kei (梁詠琪), Janice Vidal (衛蘭) and many others. He has also written and arranged songs for multi-platinum-selling artists – Side A in the Philippines, Grammy award-winning US jazz trumpeter - Tom Browne, and is currently the music director, songwriter and arranger for Montreux Jazz Festival Audience Choice Award-Winning vocalist – Talie Monin.
The TAGA teaching method is designed to give students the tools to create their own unique style of playing while deepening their appreciation and interest in guitar-based music.