The 12 year old drummer from Cape Town, who at his age is an established globetrotter has made history in South Africa or better still in the Continent, to record his first album with an all-star band from Los Angeles at Capital Records, Hollywood last month.
And believe it or not, he was joined by Ndugu Chancler -Michael Jackson and Carlos Santana’s drummer, thanks to his international agent known only as Franco.
The ten-tracks album should be ready by March, according to the father and local agent Danny Petersen.
‘Danno’, a child prodigy started playing drums at the age of four, and has become the youngest University of Western Cape student in the history of Africa at 11 yrs old. Currently, he’s the world’s youngest musician to ever achieve the coveted Yamaha Artist status with a full lifetime endorsement
“I’m still a kid who enjoys playing all kinds of stuff but when duty calls, I become an adult,” chuckles ‘Danno’, during interview at Primmi Piatti, Cape Town.
The young talent may enjoy chatting to friends his own age, and enjoy swimming, but when it comes to music, he has focus beyond his years. “Everyone, if they work as hard as me, can achieve anything. You have to put in the hours. If you don’t practice you can’t be the number one.”
Asked if he ever gets nervous, being the youngest in class, he quipped with a naughty smile: “I’ve got this covered. I know I will keep up. Music means everything to me, and if I want to become the number one drummer or musical director, I want to learn as much as I can know.”
“Here is young talent, exemplary of what great talents are sprouting up around the globe…’Danno’ connects with the rhythmic pulse of the World,” once commented Chancler.
His credentials include performances in the New Orleans Jazz Festival at age 6, Washington DC, The Disney Grand Hotel and across America, Europe and Africa.
He has performed at the 90th, 93rd & 95th Mandela Birthday celebrations as well as at a fundraiser in Portugal for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital; performances for the House of Assembly and President Mandela and countless television appearances throughout South Africa and nations he has visited.
Danno received the Western Cape Lead SA Youth Hero of the month award at 11 years’ old for his incredible work through the Daniel Petersen Foundation that he himself created.
Through his foundation, ‘Danno’ has made it possible for hundreds of underprivileged children to receive their own instruments and share the joy music brings. As an ambassador for South Africa as well as having a heart that matches his incredible talent, this dynamite is sure going places.
“I’m privileged to have such a supportive family. Music, to other parents is considered a no-career but a social thing. But as for my parents they’ve encouraged me to see how far I could swim, and thus far haven’t drowned,” comments ‘Danno’, in his symbolic Afro.
“Having performed with bra Sipho “Hot-Stix” Mabuse, is one my local highlights. And having said that, I’ve never cracked on stage and this made bra Sipho to compliment me and his band,” he continues.
His father, Petersen, said they were lucky to have understanding neighbours. The family lives in Tokai.
“The neighbours love it. They tell him to play louder because they’re dancing to it next door.”
“We will be shooting the documentary soon after his recording. It will feature him on his travels, school, recordings and playing,” says the jovial Petersen, who said at times he had to be tough on his only son.
In wrapping up Danno; does not beat about the bush on who he wishes to share the stage with: Bra Hugh Masekela.
Why, I ask “his music is way too original and that’s what I enjoy,” says our future export.