Heart-songs, Humor and Hightop Sneakers

Dan Hazlett may wear a lot of hats, but his favorite is a wrinkled old top hat full of solo acoustic live performances, lined with heart altering stories worn so smooth they shine.  No matter how closely you’re paying attention, you may find yourself amazed at what he’s likely to pull out of that hat during any given show.  A producer, sound engineer, playwright, musician, singer, songwriter, stay-at-home Dad and educator, Hazlett (pronounced HAZE-let) is an accomplished, polished performer who entertains and uplifts his audiences with a blend of his smooth, soulful voice, his finely honed acoustic guitar work, and his arsenal of well-crafted and thoughtfully presented songs. Weaving in and out of folk, jazz and a Will Rogers style of down-home humor, Dan captivates his listeners with subject matter ranging from the ordinary silliness of everyday life to the unexpected intensity of dramatic interludes.

His performances are at once heartwarming and moving, quirky and humorous, and are always presented in Dan’s unique style that appeals to audiences of all ages – and always while wearing his signature red high-top sneakers!

“Dan’s unique vocal styling is paired with excellent guitar playing and thoughtful lyrics. His guitar skills add a great dimension to the original, imaginative lyrics, coming together into a complete package of musicality.” (Andrea Hill, Singer Magazine)

“Dan writes his heart’s stories, weaving them into a lyrical web of beauty, courage, childhood memories, old automobiles and family trees.” (Maggie Ferguson, The Old Front Porch Radio Show / Concert Series Presenter)

Recognition and Releases

For more than 30 years, Dan has performed and toured throughout the Midwest. His eight previously released CDs have received airplay throughout the United States as well as internationally, and have been praised by everyone from musical colleagues to concert hosts to radio DJs. Dan has been nominated multiple times for Detroit Music Awards, and has achieved recognition for his work in events such as the Great Lakes Songwriting Contest, Big Top Chautauqua Songwriting Contest, and the Billboard Songwriting Competition.  As an educator, Dan has been featured on the staff at the prestigious Lamb’s Retreat for Songwriters, the Madison Songwriters Guild Retreat and has been on the staff at the internationally renowned Interlochen Academy for the Arts.  He has appeared on stage and/or opened for such notables as Ronnie Cox, Dana Cooper, Chuck Brodsky, Mustard’s Retreat, Cliff Eberhardt, Joel Mabus and Jack Williams, and for seven years hosted his own folk radio show, Local Folks, at WXOU-FM (Oakland University). Most recently, Dan performed in a musical production he wrote, Tumbledown Town, which has opened to positive acclaim throughout Michigan. His ninth and latest CD is “The Corner of My Eye.”

“The performance of Dan Hazlett’s play, Tumbledown Town, was clever, entertaining, and fun for all. We all laughed and cried as we caught glimpses of ourselves through the wonderful characters . . .” (Ruthette Mills, Portage Players Director, Erickson Center for the Arts)


Awards and Nominations

Great Lakes Songwriting contest

2nd Place

3rd Place


Honorable Mention


KRCL Songwriting contest



Big Top Chatauqua Songwriting Contest

Two Time Finalist


Billboard Songwriting Contest

Honorable Mention


Detroit Music Awards

Mulitple Nominations For:

Outstanding Acoustic/Folk Performer

Outstanding Acoustic/Folk Recording

Outstanding Acoustic/Folk Instrumentalist


Jammies (Grand Rapids)

Nomination for Album of the Year (Just a Guitar)


Discography includes:

  • The Corner of My Eye (2012)
  • Tumbledown Town (2010)
  • Just a Guitar (2008)
  • Water Over Stone (2004)
  • Plugged (2004)
  • Family Album (2001)
  • The Hood Ornaments (1998)
  • Our Little Secret (1996)
  • Island of our Song (1994)
  • Heartland (1992)

“Excellent songwriting . . . Dan has a way of keeping his audience in the palm of his hand . . . This is one of our favorite performers. We love his songs, we love his guitar playing, we love his performance.” (Craig Carrick, NorEast’r Music Festival Coordinator)

Venues and Visits

Thumbfest (Lexington, MI)
Wheatland Music Festival (Remus, MI)
Trinity House Theater (Livonia, MI)
NorEast’r Festival (Mio, MI)
Erickson Center for the Arts (Curtis, MI)
Oakland University (Rochester, MI)
MAMA’S Coffeehouse (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
Off the Wall Coffeehouse Series (Walled Lake, MI)
Delta Folks Coffeehouse Series (Escanaba, MI)
Lamb’s Retreat for Songwriters (Harbor Springs, MI)
Café Carpe (Ft. Atkinson, WI)
Mad Toast Live (Madison, WI)
Two Way Street Coffeehouse (Downers Grove, IL)
Winona Folk Concerts (Lake Hopatcong, NJ)
Coffeyville Humanities Series (Coffeyville, KS)
Hugh’s Room (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)


Dan has also played at many other fine establishments in Michigan and throughout the Midwest.