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Short Blurb

Dan Pugach is a Brooklyn-based, GRAMMY® Nominated and two-time ASCAP Jazz Composer Award-winning drummer/arranger. He tours regularly with his 9-piece ensemble (The Dan Pugach Nonet) whose debut release on UNIT Records made it to Top 20 jazz radio charts. He has worked with Ingrid Jensen, Rosa Passos, Airto Moreira, Gregoire Maret, Billy Drews, Jeremy Pelt, Tom Chapin, Livingston Taylor, Dave Stryker, among others. Originally from Israel, Dan served his mandatory three-year military duty as the drummer of the Air-Force Orchestra. He received his bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music and his master’s from the City College of New York, where he studied with Hal Crook, Joe Lovano, George Garzone, John Patitucci, Terri Lyne Carrington and Ari Hoenig.

Full Bio

Dan Pugach is a GRAMMY® nominated drummer and composer living in Brooklyn, NY. He was born in Raanana, Israel 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 Mike Holober and Scott Reeves.

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.

This year he is a participant at the BMI Jazz Composer Workshop directed by Andy Farber.




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Dan’s playing is Rock solid on drums!
— Downbeat
The writing is on point, sharp, concise and so is everybody’s playing. Beautiful album.
— Antonio Sanchez’s Pugach’s dynamic drumming that allows so many seemingly disparate styles to cohere into a warm, singular sound.
— Modern Drummer
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.
— Ingrid Jensen
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
... music expansive in scope yet revealing itself in intimate ways, with exquisite writing and pointedly crisp solo statements.
— New York City Jazz Record
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
Do the math: Plus One adds up to Big, Bold, Beautiful!
— Debbie Burke, Jazz Author
Plus One is a robust, intelligent debut, and is as notable for its arrangements as it is for its top-tier playing.
— The Wholenote