.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Former Hilltopper releases first album

-A A +A
By Kirsten Laskey

Daniel Ward and his guitar have seen and done quite a lot. They have traveled the globe performing and have played everything from flamenco music to pop music.Ward’s musical diversity and experience can be heard on his first CD, “After the Storm.” The CD was released in 2005 and is available to purchase on www.danielward.net. It can also be found on i-Tunes music store and other online music stores.Ward’s work may be familiar. He grew up in Los Alamos and the connection to the area doesn’t stop there. The co-producer and percussionist on the CD is John Barlit, who also grew up in Los Alamos.Ward said he and Bartlit started performing together in the high school jazz band and 23 years later, they are still playing together.Everyone in Ward’s family is musical, he said. His father, John, was the director of the Los Alamos Choral Society and Los Alamos Sinfonietta. Additionally, Ward said his brothers formed a band in high school. “My whole family has just been very musical,” he said. “Everyone plays an instrument.”Ward’s musical education continued in college. According to his biography on his website, Ward graduated from the University of New Mexico with a performance degree in classical guitar. While in college, he became interested in flamenco music. Ward explained the Albuquerque branch of the university has a big flamenco dance program and he would play music for them.He continued on to play for dancers on national tours with Pablo Rodarte and Eva Encinias. Ward said performing flamenco music is hard but fun. He explained the rhythm is very hard and is based on years of influences from India and the Middle East.In addition to touring with flamenco dancers, Ward said he toured for three years with Ottmar Liebert’s “Luna Negra.”During his free time on tour, Ward was collecting material for his album.As a result, his album is influenced by music across the globe. “It’s very world-inspired and everything made it into the CD, which is nice,” Ward said.He described the album as “flamenco-driven with a jazz edge.” All the music, Ward said, is original. He has played on over 100 CDs, but “After the Storm” is “the first one that’s all me.”Working with Bartlit on it was a great experience. “It’s interesting,” Ward said, “we became very picky ee but ended up bouncing ideas off each other.”Currently, Ward is working on his second album, which he hopes to release sometime next year. Making the new one is tough, he said, because they want it to be better than the first one, which they really liked.The new album, he said, will feature a bit more pop music while the first one was more acoustic.Looking back on his musical career, which spans more than 20 years, Bartlit said he has enjoyed traveling, meeting new people and playing with different musicians.“I just can’t imagine doing anything else,” he said.