Dave Panico


With emotional power and musical passion, multi-talented saxophonist, clarinet and flute player Dave Panico – renowned by his fans as “The Soaring Saxman” – breaks ground on a promising solo career. Panico commits the contagious groove of his live performances to disc for his second solo project, a dynamic collection whose title says it all: Joy Rid’N. His music is rooted firmly in his faith, which allows fans to understand where the “joy” in Joy Rid’N comes from. But while the tracks on the album convey his spiritual side, this never gets in the way of the high energy vibe that characterizes his playing. Consequently, Joy Rid’N is a recording that should appeal to both sacred and secular audiences alike.
Unlike some artists who limit themselves to a singular style and set of influences, Dave cites a fascinating array of jazz legends and contemporary greats as having an impact on his own exciting mix of compelling melodies, strong rhythms and transcendent improvisations. His early exposure to jazz included Benny Goodman, Pete Fountain and the Big Band sounds of Tommy Dorsey—but his funky, grooving vibe owes just as much to longtime smooth jazz chart toppers like Warren Hill, Dave Koz and Richard Elliot. And like some of today’s other top contemporary jazz greats, including Kirk Whalum and Jonathan Butler, he’s not shy about the faith that grounds and inspires it all. Joy Rid’N opens up with ‘When 2 R 1’ which, as well as being a great example of picture perfect smooth jazz, is both mellow and uplifting at the same time. When Panico switches to flute for the distinctly tropical ‘Bumba Way’ the result is just as pleasing and the frothy ‘Samba’ has a title that describes it to perfection. In complete contrast, ‘Surrender’ is a slice of cool contemporary jazz that will sound good in a live setting or on radio. The tight and funky ‘Sweet Aroma’ features Steve Taylor’s edgy guitar. When Panico reaches for something totally different, his atmospheric flute on ‘Perseverance’ evokes images of Native America. Of the more overtly religious offerings, ‘Sending In Judah’ is both jazzy and up tempo while ‘Come All Who Are Thirsty’ glides on a pleasant mid tempo vibe and features inspiring vocals from Ah’Lee Robinson. The title track, a Smooth Jazz Therapy favorite, is a deliciously melodic cut. A terrific example of Panico’s art, ‘Just Me And My Friend’ is a warm, mid tempo groove and is arguably the album’s best track.
Dave Panico, with saxophone in hand, will move you with a exciting combination of vibrations, tight rhythms and irresistible melodies. Once the first note is played, there is no denying the energy that permeates the room. Dave’s distinctive music takes hold and truly reaches down to the very core of your soul. Taking that passion to the road, Dave has played in numerous venues, including various coffeehouses, churches, outdoor festivals and on television and radio. His live performances include the talents of many top musicians, whose collaborations explore an extensive range of styles that appeal to all age groups.
After picking up the clarinet for the first time in high school, Dave quickly expanded his repertoire and stylistic possibilities by learning saxophone and flute. His early professional endeavors included performing with various bands at local venues in Chicago and some early recording efforts in the studio. While in Chicago, Dave was honored to secure a seat in the orchestra and studio band of Willow Creek Community Church—where he combined his love of ministry with his ongoing passion for making music. Willow Creek’s Music Director John Carlson says, “Dave is a talented, enthusiastic, and treasured soloist and member of the horn section team at Willow Creek. He always brought his very best as a musician to any situation, along with a true servant’s heart.” Having received Instrumental Artist of the Year Award at the 2005 Kansas City Christian Music Awards, along with receiving a nomination for the acclaimed Instrumental Artist of the Year Award in 2008 from IndieHeaven-Momentum Awards, Nashville, TN, Dave Panico is making a “sound” for himself. CCM magazine recognized the talents of Dave Panico and asked for his expertise with a unique article having him iterate about particular brand instruments that allow his sound to come out “smoothly”. Currently residing in Kansas City, MO, Dave, along with his wife and three children, continues to engage audiences throughout the region with his live performances and musical creativity. Building a fan base with both secular and Christian audiences, he was recently nominated for Contemporary Artist of the Year, Inspirational Artist of the Year and Instrumental Artist of the Year at the King Cat Music Awards.

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