For three 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. The list of regular Twin Cities colleagues includes Maria Jette, Prudence Johnson, Peter Ostroushko, Kevin Kling, Ann Reed, the Rose Ensemble and Philip Brunelle and Vocalessence. He’s appeared all across the upper Midwest and turned up often on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.
As a writer and host he’s often asked to create special live programs for Minnesota Public Radio, the MN Historical Society, the Rose Ensemble, and others. His show Civil War Homecoming played at the Fitzgerald Theater in April 2015, was broadcast statewide on MPR, and continues to be shown on Twin Cities Public Television. His stage musical, Steerage Song, toured throughout Minnesota in 2013, a show co-authored with Peter Rothstein about the Ellis Island era of immigration to the U.S. as portrayed in folk songs, newspaper clippings, and Tin Pan Alley tunes. In 2014 his show, Cafe Europa, about bicycling with an accordion from Naples to Normandy in search of Minnesota WWII stories, was broadcast and televised statewide. In 1994 he created an acclaimed radio series, The Singer’s Voice, broadcast live Sunday nights from the Dakota Jazz Club, then in St. Paul, hosting song-spiked conversation from the piano with a different singer each week, over 200 in the six years of the show’s tenure.