Daniel Rotem fell in love with music at an early age, recognizing its vast emotional depth and powerful potential for expression. He began taking piano lessons at age eight and was a bad student, spending hours looking for new melodies instead of practicing what he was assigned by his teachers. He found the tenor saxophone when he was 13.
At age 28, music has taken Daniel far beyond his wildest dreams: from Tel Aviv to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, to Los Angeles to study as a member of the world-renowned Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance; from Morocco performing as part of a U.S. State Department Tour, to the White House leading and narrating a jazz history masterclass and performance hosted by Mrs. Michelle Obama, as part of the celebrations of International Jazz Day. He has performed on four continents, with different artists from Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dave Liebman, and Billy Childs, to Stevie Wonder, Usher, India Arie, and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson.
Growing up in Israel, Daniel studied at the Thelma Yellin High School and the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Tel Aviv, and was awarded first place in Rimon’s Outstanding Jazz Player Competition. Consequently, he represented the school at the 20-year-anniversary of the International Association of Schools of Jazz in The Hague.
In 2011, Daniel received a full scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music, from which he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Performance in December 2013. His mentors while in Boston included Bill Pierce, Hal Crook, George Garzone, and Alain Mallet. Shortly after graduating Berklee, Daniel was one of seven musicians selected by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, Kenny Burrell, and James Newton to study for two years as a member of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Masters Program Class of 2016 at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
While at the Institute, in addition to performing in Morocco and at the White House, Daniel performed in Paris for International Jazz Day 2015, at the Hollywood Bowl Playboy Jazz Festival with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, at the Kennedy Center with Al Jareau and Dee Dee Bridgewater, and recorded for the Tavis Smiley Show.
Daniel’s debut album “Be Nice” was released independently in February 2017. Daniel celebrated the release performing at the Red Sea Jazz Festival as part of a tour in Israel with his international band. His tour-de-force second double-album "Serenading the Future" was released to hailing reviews in September 2018.
He is endorsed by Gottsu Mouthpieces and has been a recipient of the America-Israel Foundation scholarship for 2010-2012 and 2014-2016.
Daniel is currently on faculty at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), and works with private students at his home studio.