Dan Sheehan (b. 1988) is an improvising pianist and composer from Melbourne, Australia, engaged in writing and performing original music. His work reflects passions for both the jazz tradition and post-jazz integration of 20th century classical languages, and he aims to promote a distinct synthesis between improvisation and composition, regarding both elements as equally powerful devices in live performance.
Sheehan leads Infinite Ape, an improvising collaborative currently comprising trumpeter Reuben Lewis, woodwind specialist Tony Hicks and Danish percussionist Christian Windfeld. Alongside original contributions, Infinite Ape has explored repertoire by NYC alto-maverick Tim Berne, and has developed a cohesive, collective approach to improvisation and navigation. The trio released its self-titled debut in 2013 which, in addition to receiving national airplay and critical praise, earned Sheehan a shortlisted Bell Award nomination. The project’s 2014 follow-up, Civil Languages, documented a dual percussion recording with Hicks, Windfeld and Berlin-based Samuel Hall.
In addition to his own projects, Sheehan has performed or recorded with the Monash Art Ensemble, Australian Art Orchestra, Mirko Guerrini (Italy), John Abercrombie (USA), Tim Fain (USA), Hermeto Pascoal (Brazil), Paul Williamson, Stephen Magnusson and Philip Rex. He appears regularly with Tim Willis & The End, the Brae Grimes 5tet, ‘Mon Frere Mon Frere’, and Helen Catanchin’s Lena.
A graduate of Monash University, Sheehan was awarded first class Honours for a thesis entitled Collective Freedom, Individual Control: Tim Berne and the role of the composer in improvised music. He has studied locally with Marc Hannaford, Tony Gould, Sam Keevers and Steve Sedergreen, and in New York with Kris Davis, Tim Berne and Ralph Alessi. Through further opportunities to study at the Banff Centre and the School for Improvisational Music, he has pursued a deeply personal stream of creative practice that will continue to inform his ongoing work.
2015: Night and Day - Tim Willis & The End (Newmarket Music)
2015: Some Of My Parts - Lena (Independent)
2014: Civil Languages - Infinite Ape (Independent)
2013: Infinite Ape - Infinite Ape (Independent)
2012: Hermeto Paascoal: The Monash Sessions - Monash University (Jazzhead)
2012: After All - James Carter Quartet (Newmarket Music)