Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Singer/songwriter Enjoys Journey Music Takes Him On

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Singer/songwriter Enjoys Journey Music Takes Him On

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Faulkner, Shorelines correspondent

Be warned, musical square pegs of the world. Daniel Jacobs has a round hole for you.

The singer/songwriter's career is a symphony of contradictions. He writes music for himself but lives for making connections with his audiences. He refused to study music originally and later traveled the world learning about guitar techniques. He set out to create an original sound, yet chose folk music -- one of the most stereotyped genres in American music -- as his foundation.

It's like a jigsaw puzzle crammed together with no concern about the resulting picture. But it's all part of Jacobs' master plan.

"My idea was to create a sound and music that was original," Jacobs said. "I wanted music to be my art form. I was very conscious of making something that was informed by a lot of different kinds of music but was not really any of them."

Jacobs began his blend of music and poetry in his late teens. By his early 20s, he decided to start taking jazz guitar lessons. He's studied jazz guitar at New York University, classical guitar in Brazil and at the Mannes College of Music in New York City, sitar and tabla in India, Balinese gamelan in Bali and bossa-nova in Brazil.

Jacobs expects his audience will hear that smorgasbord of influences at his show Saturday at the Artists' Corner in Jacksonville Beach. His goal is that they hear his stamp on it all.

"Duke Ellington said after he went to Africa, his music was influenced by the trip," Jacobs said. "It wasn't an influence in that he actually used what we would consider the traditional elements of African music. The elements went into him as a human being and came out in his music, in a way that he didn't filter. It was just the way [those elements] evolved within him. That's been my life focus actually, as an artist."

Regardless of Jacobs' artistic intents, he understands that most listeners have certain expectations when they see him. To many, coffee house solo performer plus acoustic guitar equals Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Grateful Dead covers. But he sees it as a chance to convert the crowds into fans. That optimism pervades his music as well. …

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