Daniel Brummel, M.M. | Dean & Chief Academic Officer
Daniel Brummel is a composer-producer, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist music educator native to Pasadena, CA. He graduated from the L.A. County High School for the Arts as a voice major (with guitar and composition studies) before earning his B.A. in music composition from the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA, Daniel’s mentors included David S. Lefkowitz (theory), Paul Chihara (composition), and Don Neuen (voice) as well as studies with jazz legend Kenny Burrell (guitar) and Emmy-winning film composer Laura Karpman. Daniel holds the Master of Music degree in commercial music composition from California State University, Los Angeles, where his mentors included Steve Wight (arranging) and Ross Levinson (scoring to picture).
At age 18, Daniel began an international performance career as lead vocalist and bassist for the hard rock band Ozma, whose touring history included stints with Weezer, Nada Surf, Rilo Kiley, Shiny Toy Guns, The Rentals, Nerf Herder, Rooney, Piebald, the Warped Tour, SXSW, and Japan’s Summersonic and Nanomugen festivals. More recently, Daniel joined Grammy-winning alternative rock band Weezer as touring band member and music director for the album release tour for 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright In The End, which was voted Album of the Year by National Public Radio. Then, in 2016, Daniel joined Nada Surf as touring bassist for the You Know Who You Are album cycle. Daniel’s credits as a recording artist and producer include Spain, The Elected, Scott & Rivers, Sanglorians, and Ozma’s “Pasadena,” which All Music Guide rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. As a session musician on bass, drums, guitar, keys, and voice, Daniel has worked closely with Grammy-winning producers including Neal Pogue (Outkast, TLC) and Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Julian Casablancas). He has been featured in Bass Player Magazine and his music has been released labels including Universal, Sony, Sub Pop, Kung Fu, Atmospheriques, and Republic. He has led community music events at the Hammer Museum, the Norton Simon Museum, the Los Angeles Central Library, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and composed score music for Paramount Pictures and Lifetime Network film & television releases. In addition to his responsibilities as Dean & Chief Academic Officer and Singer-Songwriter Co-Chair at California College of Music, Daniel is adjunct faculty at Los Angeles Valley College, a top-tier music department in the Los Angeles Community College System.
Daniel’s teaching philosophy stresses student-centered learning, concrete student learning outcomes, and deep listening. His approach to music pedagogy emphasizes harmonic understanding, rhythmic specificity, and ear training using the movable do solfège system. He strives to address individual student needs through appealing to different modes of perception. Daniel’s innovative method book, Popular Music Theory (and the accompanying Popular Music Theory Flashcards Deck) are the standard fundamental theory materials at California College of Music.
M.M. in Commercial Music (Composition & Arranging), California State University Los Angeles
B.A. in Music Composition, University of California Los Angeles
Daniel Brummel performing “Say It Ain’t So” on drums with Weezer: