DAN HIGGINS first distinguished himself as an outstanding saxophonist while attending University of North Texas playing in the 1 o'clock lab band in 1976 and 1977. He taught both saxophone and improvisation and was a member of the 1976 State Department tour to Russia. As a member of the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin big band, Dan recorded two albums and toured Europe and Japan. He can be heard on jazz albums with Quincy Jones, Sammy Nestico, Gordon Goodwin’s Phat Band, Diane Schurr and Pat Williams. Dan was a part of the Barbra Streisand New Year's Eve Concerts 1994 and 1999 and the following U.S. tours.
As a Los Angeles based professional Dan has recorded with such noted artists as Ray Charles, Queen Latifa, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, Patti Austin, Burt Bacharach and Frank Sinatra, Phil Collins, Jose Feliciano, Cher, Natalie Cole, Randy Newman, Babyface, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Kenny Loggins, Ringo Starr, Al Jarreau and Clint Black.
Dan's varied talents on all woodwinds make him a sought after session musician in the film, TV and record industry and is the solo alto saxophone voice of Bleeding Gums Murphy from the TV series, The Simpsons. The Academy Awards, Emmys and Grammy Awards are just a few of the live TV specials he has played. Dan has worked on over 500 motion picture scores and is the featured saxophone soloist in the scores: Catch Me If You Can, Ray, Sideways, Awakenings, The Notebook, Benny & Joon and Sleepless in Seattle. Such notable composers as John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Marc Shaiman, James Horner and Randy Newman call on Dan to play their film scores.
Under the direction of John Williams, Dan was a guest soloist with the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic performing the John Williams piece Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra. This work was a featured part of the 2003 PBS TV series Evening at the Pops.