Los Angeles saxophonist Dante LaShaun plays with unbounded soul and a musical vocabulary that flows elegantly across multiple genres. After a successful career as a session player and sideman, Dante has emerged as a solo artist and is reaching new heights in adult contemporary music.
Dante grew up playing gospel music at his home church. His first formal training came through private studies with saxophonist Purvis Milner, and his skills were further refined when, at the insistence of Pastor Edward Jones, he started playing in church. Dante also came up the ranks through his school music program, where he performed with the marching band and later studied jazz under the tutelage of pianist Chuck Edwards. After graduating from high school, Dante auditioned for and was accepted into Berklee. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music Business/Management.
Dante has spent most of his professional life in Los Angeles and has worked with numerous highly regarded artists and producers, including J. Cole, Eddie Griffin, Amarie, Tatyana Ali, Lupe Fiasco, Ron Neff-U Femster, Warryn Campbell, 1500 or Nothin, and Musician’s Ego. He played on J. Cole’s recording “Rise and Shine,” performed with Sanjay on “American Idol” and was featured on comedian Eddie Griffin’s VH-1 reality show “Going for Broke.” Dante recently received an endorsement from the premiere mouthpiece company Theo Wanne, Fibereed Germain Synthetic Reeds, and Kim Korean Saxophones .
Throughout the years, several musicians have inspired Dante’s evolution as a player. Most notable are Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, George Benson, John Coltrane, David Sanborn, Maxwell, Dav Koz, Seal, Kenny Loggins, Walter Beasley and Donald Hayes, who he presently studies with. Dante’s early musical influences were R & B, smooth jazz, gospel and move soundtracks. “I like big, soulful songs that bring out different emotions in people,” he cheerfully explains. Although his focus today is on adult contemporary music, Dante’s approach is multifarious. He credits his gospel upbringing for his versatility. “It’s a mixture of everything,” he says, “When you play gospel music, you get a little jazz, you get a little blues, you get a little country and you get a little folk. I’m comfortable with any genre.”
Dante believes that “art and music go hand and hand.” With the launch of his solo career, Dante feels a renewed sense of focus and purpose: “I find serenity in the music. It always comes back to the music.”