Hailed by the Boston Globe as “the real deal, [a bandleader] that looks and sounds like the 1940s,” Dan Gabel is a trombonist, arranger, bandleader, historian, and educator. He formed his first band in the eighth grade and has dedicated his life and career to promoting quality live music. Gabel leads several of his own musical groups, including Dan Gabel and The Abletones (authentic 18-piece Big Band), The High Society Orchestra (11-piece Hot Dance of the Roaring 20s), plus various smaller groups and a Brass Quintet.
He has recorded and produced seven full-length albums, two video stage shows, and appears on countless other recordings. In 2017, Dan Gabel was chosen as the musical director of the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra, and created The Vaughn Monroe Show, 24-piece production transporting audiences to the 1940s.
A busy sideman, Gabel has toured internationally with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for over a year, as well as with the Tommy Dorsey, Cab Calloway, and Hal McIntyre Orchestras. He recently has been featured twice at the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Newport Mansions “Art Deco Festival,” and as Music Director for several regional musicals.
Considered an expert on jazz, big bands, and the Great American Songbook, Gabel has lectured at colleges, universities, radio programs, scholar programs, and special events across the country including at Harvard, MIT, Clark, and Indiana University. Since 2014 he has served as the President and CEO of the American Big Band Preservation Society.
Dan Gabel holds two bachelor’s degrees from UMass Amherst in Political Science and in Jazz History through BDIC (Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration) Commonwealth Honors College. He received a master’s degree from New England Conservatory in trombone performance. As an educator, Gabel returned to his high school alma mater in 2014 and served six years as the Music Department Director at Holy Name High School until 2020. He also founded and directs the Jazz Program at Worcester Youth Orchestras, Inc. Dan Gabel is currently working on a biography and a musical on bandleader Vaughn Monroe. He looks forward to a career of preserving, promoting, and performing music for audiences everywhere. Dan joined the Joy of Music faculty in the fall of 2021.