Conductor, composer, orchestrator, record producer, Grammy and two-time Emmy Award-winner, John McDaniel was seen leading the band daily on The Rosie O’Donnell Show for its entire six year run. He wrote the theme song and received five Emmy nominations for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition. On the show, he worked with such artists as Tony Bennett, Dick Van Dyke, Neil Diamond, Dolly Parton, Liza Minnelli, Barry Manilow, Chaka Kahn and Madonna.
He first worked with Rosie 1994 when he conducted the Broadway revival of Grease, in which Rosie played Rizzo. McDaniel also created new vocal and dance arrangements for this production. Stars throughout its run included Brooke Shields, Jon Secada, Sheena Easton, Chubby Checker, Jennifer Holliday and Al Jarreau.
He made his debut as a producer on Broadway with Brooklyn, the Musical in 2004. He also was the supervising Music Director, did the arrangements and orchestrations, and produced the top selling Live Cast Recording. The show ran for 10 months on Broadway and the National Tour went out in 06. Most recently, John created new arrangements and orchestrations for a new production of Pirates which played at the Goodspeed Opera House and the Paper Mill Playhouse.
Mr. McDaniel was the supervising Music Director of the Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun, starring Bernadette Peters (and subsequently Reba McEntire), which won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and for which he received the Grammy Award as producer for Best Musical Show Album. He also was the supervising Music Director for Boy George’s Taboo on Broadway in 2003, and produced the cast album. He conducted the smash hit Chicago on Broadway, the 1993 reunion of the original Broadway cast of Company in concert at Lincoln Center, the U.S. tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, off- Broadway’s Blame It On the Movies, as well as solo performances for such esteemed artists as Cab Calloway, Shirley MacLaine, George Burns, Frederica von Stade and Carol Burnett. Mr. McDaniel also arranged the show Patti LuPone on Broadway. He has been a featured pops conductor for the Milwaukee Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Oklahoma Philharmonic and the Utah Symphony orchestras as well as multiple return engagements for the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony and his hometown St. Louis Symphony.
He arranged music for the Tony Awards on CBS in 1997, 1998 and 2000. His most recent arranging and conducting credits for television specials include A Rosie Christmas for ABC, starring Celine Dion and Marc Anthony, and the Friar’s Roasts of Jerry Stiller, Rob Reiner, Hugh Hefner and Chevy Chase, all for Comedy Central.
In 2003, Mr. McDaniel produced and conducted a new CD, The Maury Yeston Songbook, for PS Classics featuring Tony Award winners Betty Buckley, Sutton Foster and Christine Ebersole among many others. Mr. McDaniel has recorded three solo CD’s, John McDaniel at the Piano: Broadway, John McDaniel at the Piano: Christmas, and John McDaniel at the Piano: Compositions. His most recent release is: John McDaniel Live at Joe’s Pub. Other recording credits include the Broadway cast album for the revival of Grease on the RCA/Victor label, Patti LuPone Live! on RCA/Victor, as well as Davis Gaines’ release, Against the Tide, on LAP Records. He is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his music direction of Chicago, as well as multiple Drama Logue awards. Mr. McDaniel received the Board of Director’s Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabaret in 2000. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. McDaniel first studied piano with his mother Jane, and earned a BFA degree in Drama from Carnegie Mellon.