Dan Pugach is a GRAMMY nominated drummer and composer living in Brooklyn, NY. He was born in Raanana, Israel in 1983 and moved to the United States in 2006.
He served as the drummer for The Air Force Band in the IDF while attending the Rimon School of Jazz at the same time.
He received a Bachelor of Music Degree from Berklee College of Music, where he studied with Terri Lynn Carrington, Hal Crook, and Joe Lovano, and an M.A in music from the City College of New York, where he studied with Ari Hoenig, John Patitucci and Mike Holober.
Dan also spent three months in Rio de Janeiro in order to specialize in Brazilian percussion. He studied with Marcos Suzano, Marcio Bahia and Paulinho Braga, all of which are leading figures in the Brazilian samba scene.
In 2011 Dan was a recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award for his Nonet piece “Discourse This!”. In the same year he participated in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center, where he worked with Curtis Fuller, Nathan Davis and George Cables. In 2013 he received another ASCAP Jazz Composer Award for his Nonet piece “Brooklyn Blues”.
His debut 2018 nonet release “Plus One” on UNIT Records has made it to top 20 jazz radio charts and includes Dan’s arrangement of Jolene/Dolly Parton which has been GRAMMY ® nominated for Best Arrangement, Instruments with Vocals, alongside vocalist Nicole Zuraitis, his wife.
“The writing is on point, sharp, concise and so is everybody’s playing. Beautiful album.”
— Antonio Sanchez
“His mastery of the music from the subtle inner workings of his horn orchestrations to his command over shaping larger musical statements puts Dan in a league of his own.”
— Alan Ferber
“While the versatile band certainly deserves kudos, it’s Pugach’s dynamic drumming that allows so many seemingly disparate styles to cohere into a warm, singular sound”
— Keaton Lamle, Modern Drummer Magazine
“I can’t gush enough about the joyful energy that Dan and his Nonet express in the most open of ways. Dan’s music is thoughtful, exciting and immensely engaging…”
“Pugach is an ace composer and arranger. It is pretty incredible to realized that Plus One is the drummer’s debut album. It sounds fully formed and completely evolved. - All About Jazz