Daniel Francis Marschak (b. 1986) is a Los Angeles-based composer, jazz pianist, and educator. His written music reflects his love of both improvised music and contemporary classical music, with extended harmonies and an improvisatory approach. He has written works for a variety of ensembles and instrumentations, from solo percussionist to full orchestra.
In 2012, Marschak earned his Masters degree in music composition from UCLA (where he also completed B.A.’s in both composition and jazz piano in 2009). At UCLA, he studied composition with Paul Chihara, Ian Krouse, David Lefkowitz, and James Newton, and jazz piano with Tom Rainier and Tamir Hendelman. He has also had the opportunity to compose for the UCLA Philharmonia, the UCLA Chorale, and the UCLA Wind Ensemble.
Marschak’s debut album Likewise (2010) was heralded as “adventurous and well developed” by Lalo Schifrin. Steering clear of conventional formats, the album explores an array of genres, instrumentations, and textures, while maintaining a unique compositional sensibility.
As a pianist, Marschak has performed with a variety of respected musicians; including Ambrose Akinmusare, Hitomi Oba, Kalil Wilson, and the UCLA Contemporary Large Ensemble (under the direction of Kenny Burrell and James Newton). He continues to perform with his ensemble in notable venues such as Yoshi’s, the Jazz Bakery, and the Central Avenue Jazz Festival.
Marschak also maintains an interest in music for visual media, and has scored several short films. In 2011, he co-founded Well Versed Productions, a music composition/production company, to start developing that side of his musical identity.
In addition to his career as a composer/performer, Marschak is currently teaching a music theory class at UCLA, which approaches theory from the standpoint of classical music as well as jazz, pop, and world styles.