State of Art: After decades of playing and fixing pianos in Alaska, musician Dan McElrath says goodbye with two final shows

Dan McElrath (second from left) poses with the Dan Mac Band in 2014. McElrath is leaving the state after 36 years. (Photo courtesy of Dan McElrath)

Dan McElrath spent the last three decades living and making a name for himself in Alaska through his jazz combo The Dan Mac Band, collaborations with local artists and through is work as the state’s premier piano technician. He’s moving on to warmer climes, but won’t be leaving quietly.

The Dan Mac band, which has been active since 1995, will play at Jack Sprat in Girdwood on June 18 as part of the Solstice festivities. McElrath’s 18-piece big band will perform on July 16 at the MatSu Lodge on Wasilla Lake and this final show will also be a fundraiser for Alaska Medical Missions.

This week on State of Art we’re joined by McElrath who tells us about finding his passion, memorable moments, and putting a piano on a glacier.

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