For nearly four decades Dan Chouinard has been pianist and accordionist of choice for a who’s who of Twin Cities performers, an enabler of community singalongs and a writer of hit shows for public radio, concert hall and theatrical stage.

Dan attended St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, then taught French and Italian at the University of Minnesota for four years while getting established as a pianist and accompanist around Minneapolis and St. Paul. Beginning in 1994, his radio series The Singer’s Voice was broadcast live every Sunday evening over six years from the Dakota Jazz Club (then at Bandana Square St. Paul).

He’s a writer and host of shows, having created many live programs for Minnesota Public Radio, the MN Historical Society, Twin Cities Public Television and others. In 2013 Steerage Song played in the Twin Cities and on tour throughout Minnesota, a show co-authored with Peter Rothstein about the Ellis Island era of immigration to the US as depicted in folk songs, newspaper clippings and Tin Pan Alley tunes.

His 2014 show Cafe Europa, about bicycling with an accordion from Naples IT to Normandy FR in search of Minnesota WWII stories, was broadcast and televised statewide. Civil War Homecoming played at the Fitzgerald Theater in April 2015 on the 150th anniversary of the end of the war, was broadcast statewide on MPR and continues to be shown on Twin Cities Public Television.

Rondo ’56: Remembering St. Paul’s Black Main Street, presented a dozen times since its 2010 premiere at the MN History Center, is a portrait in music, stories and archival photos of St. Paul’s thriving Black neighborhood in the 1940s and ‘50s, before it was sliced down the middle to make room for I-94.

His essays have been published in Minnesota Monthly, Saint John’s Magazine, the Minnesota Orchestra’s Showcase magazine and in the Minneapolis StarTribune.

He’s traveled often in France and Italy, with bicycle and without, and has presented French and Italian sing-alongs at the Alliance Française in Minneapolis. He spent the summer 2015 working in Italy on an independent Hollywood film, All You Ever Wanted, written and directed by Minnesota native Barry Morrow, and released in 2019.

He was a guest accompanist on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, and is the founder of a classic country band, Lush Country, comprised of Prairie Home Companion alumni. He currently accompanies Garrison Keillor in concerts around the U.S.

Photo by Christopher Boudewyns

Contact Dan about performing in your community.

Learn more about Dan’s other projects: