Daniel Chu

Daniel Chu is a Hong Kong-born pianist, composer, arranger, record producer, music director, and scholar. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music at the young age of 20, earning a Bachelor of Music degree. During his time in Boston, he studied under pianists such as George Russell Jr., Tim Ray, and Kenny Werner and songwriters such as Sarah Brindell, Jimmy Kachulis, and Pat Pattison. Daniel received prestigious accolades, including the Berklee Achievement Scholarship and Berklee Shining Star Award.

In 2024, Daniel completed his Master of Philosophy degree in Music, specializing in ethnomusicology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Throughout his graduate studies, he had the opportunity to learn from ethnomusicologists such as Frederick Lau and Yu Siu Wah. Daniel’s thesis, titled “Digging the Hong Kong Jazz Scene: Past, Present, and People,” is a groundbreaking scholarly work that explores the history, contemporary development, and musical lives of the Hong Kong jazz scene. Professor Adam Kielman has praised the thesis as “a tremendous accomplishment, and an important contribution to jazz scholarship and to the Hong Kong jazz scene itself.”

Daniel’s extraordinary musical talent has enabled him to collaborate with a diverse range of artists in various capacities. He possesses expertise in writing, arranging, producing, and performing pop music, having worked with famous singers such as Sammi Cheng, Janice Vidal, Jill Vidal, LaiYing@Pomato, Kiri T, and many more. In 2018, he co-founded the electroacoustic music trio “manvsmachine” alongside sound designer hirsk and drummer Blue Kwok. Together, they have performed across music venues in Europe and Asia. In 2019, Daniel performed improvisation sets as an opener for painter Makoto Fujimura’s Song of Songs exhibition in Taiwan upon invitation from Artrue Gallery.

In 2021, Daniel presented his original work Game Play for piano and nine string players at The Box, Freespace. He also delivered a solo piano recital, “Extremes,” at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall. In 2022, Daniel served as the music director for Terence Lam and The Absent Brother’s MOOV digital concert. Additionally, he played keyboards for the “Freespace Ensemble Pop Plus: Kraftwerk Reimagined” concert and headlined the Freespace Jazz Fest. In 2023, he took on the role of music director for “HKT x WestK Pop Fest: I Am What I Am — A Tribute to Leslie Cheung,” a three-day concert series commemorating the 20th anniversary of the passing of Hong Kong legend Leslie Cheung. Furthermore, in 2023, Daniel served as a guest curator for the Freespace Jazz Fest, organizing a conversation series titled “Talkin Jazz,” where he invited leading musicians from classical, pop, and musical theatre backgrounds to share their perspectives on jazz and improvisation.

A defining aspect of Daniel’s artistic identity lies in the synergy he creates. His music celebrates diverse world cultures, musical traditions, and playing techniques. His experience with free improvisation and the formal architecture of music gives him a unique outlook that encompasses classical, jazz, pop, soul, gospel, folk, and experimental.

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