Dan Odegaard became leader of the Classic Big Band in 1998. Dan's love of the big band sounds and his determination to preserve and reproduce it as closely as possible is evidenced by the countless hours he has spent transcribing many of the charts from the original recordings. He also plays with a dance orchestra called the Execs Big Band, a group comprised of business executives and professionals dedicated to preserving big band music.

112 Dan Odegaard and wife A dentist by profession, Dan interspersed music with schooling and work for many years. He started playing the trumpet at age nine and was a member of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra in the Twin Cities in the early 1960's, being admitted by tryout and playing solos in 1961. Odegaard developed an interest in big band jazz and dance music while in high school. He started playing with the Bobby Thomas Orchestra, comprised of North High teens and college students, while a junior and was performing for salary at major hotels by his senior year. Upon graduation from high school in 1966, he was part of the Minneapolis and St. Paul Federation of Musicians and started regular "jobbing" in the Twin Cities. As a member of the Dick Whitbeck Orchestra, he performed at many dances and concerts over the next six years, also playing with church brass choirs.

During his college years, Odegaard did "subbing" for musicians in major orchestras to fit his schedule. He played one-nighters with the Warren Covington/ Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Bob Crosby Bobcats, and the Ralph Marten Orchestra. While he was studying predentistry, he was a trumpet student of Daniel B. Tetzlaff, a member of the faculty from the University of Minnesota School of Music. Then Dan started dental school and played lead trumpet with the newly formed University of Minnesota Jazz Ensemble directed by Tom Keith.

Dentistry and a young family kept him from being as active in music as he would have liked until 1990. He started playing in the Vets, which was a house band for the Richfield Legion since around 1986. He started amassing his collection of authentic arrangements and started the vocal group, The Nostalgics, in 1995. When Bill Dean resigned as leader in 1998, Dan stepped into the role. He has also performed with the Rod Smith Big Band, Beasley's Big Band, Twin Cities Jazz Orchestra, Roseville Big Band, Swing Beats, Jerry O'Hagen, Chamberlain Orchestra and the Zurah Flames.
Dan at the Legion, 2002 Glenn Miller Festival, The Nostalgics TOP