Dan Connolly is ready for 500-seat Kirkland performance
October 13, 2009
By David Hayes
Dan Connolly’s life has been about many seemingly unrelated transitions. The East Coast transplant now living in Issaquah spent 12 years as a U.S. Navy diver in explosive ordinance disposal. He then went into the software industry for a while.
But it’s his latest project — music — that he hopes leads somewhere important. He’s only been concentrating full time on his music for a couple of years, but he’s already been invited to headline at the Kirkland Performance Center.
“I guess they view me as an up-and-coming artist,” Connolly said. “Hopefully, this will be a springboard for other opportunities.”
So how does a diver transition from blowing things up to singing songs with a Celtic influence?“You could say I just grew into my music career over the years,” he said. “It just seemed what was right for me. It’s a gift I’ve been given that I want to share.”
Connolly describes his music as “raw and engaging.” Some have compared his voice to Jack Johnson and John Mayer, while others say he honestly has no one person to compare to.
With just two albums under his belt, “Low to High” and “Running Under Water,” Connolly is excited about his chance to share his music with what he considers a different league at the Kirkland Performance Center.
“These 500-seat theaters are hard to break into,” he said.
With his career put onto a faster developing track, Connolly said he hopes to make the most of the opportunity.
First, center officials are trying a first with him — placing the audience up onstage with him for a more intimate setting.
“Because of the type of music I play, they felt people could better connect, get more of a feel of community,” Connolly said. “I love the idea. It should help break down the barrier between performer and audience, showing I’m no ‘higher than you.’”
Second, he hopes the springboard to bigger and better things includes a platform for bringing awareness to teen issues, especially problems young girls face.
“I’ve helped two girls I know get adopted. There just aren’t enough resources for teen girls for a way of getting help they need,” Connolly said.
He’s been impressed by the efforts of Outward Bound, a nonprofit organization that offers programs for at-risk youth. Connolly said he hopes to offer additional help through his music.
“Teen girls today are bombarded with a warped sense of reality,” he said. “I’m hoping music can help bring them back.”
If you go
8 p.m. Oct. 17
Kirkland Performance Center
David Hayes: email@example.com, 392-6434, ext. 237. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.