Heart-songs, Humor and Hightop Sneakers

Dan 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– and always while wearing his signature red high-top sneakers!


A multi-instrumentalist, Dan’s live shows are punctuated with acoustic guitar, harmonica and trumpet. He’s been a member of several bands including the rock bands Meadow and Mickey Finn, notable Detroit R&B recording artists Energy and is currently a member of the Doctor Swing Band and The Whistleblowers.

“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 40 years, Dan Hazlett has performed and toured throughout the Midwest. He was a songwriting instructor at the Internationally renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts for six years, teaching gifted high school songwriters from around the world. His songs have been recorded by such luminaries as jazz great Kimmie Horne and country music star Bob Marshall.

His nine previously released CDs have received airplay throughout the United States as well as internationally. Dan achieved recognition for his songs as a winner in events such as the Great Lakes Songwriting Contest, Big Top Chautauqua Songwriting Contest, KRCL/Founders Title Folk and Bluegrass Festival, the Billboard Songwriting Competition, and has been nominated multiple times for Detroit Music Awards.

As an educator, Dan has been featured on the staff at the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts, Lamb’s Retreat for Songwriters, the Madison Songwriters Guild Retreat, the Alcona County Artists Retreat and the Wheatland Music Festival. He has been a guest on the syndicated radio programs River City Folk and the Mitch Album show, and had a song featured on Car Talk. He hosted his own folk radio show, Local Folks, at WXOU-FM for seven years. As a playwright, Dan authored and toured with the musical comedy “Tumbledown Town and is the co-author of a new musical entitled “Calling Winston.”

“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.