For Travis McDaniel, playing music is meditation.
âThis is where I recharge,â he said.
This Saturday, McDaniel brings his soulful neo-jazz to the Limelight Hotel. The Boise musician regularly frequents the Wood River Valley.
âI seem to fill this niche with chic cocktails and weddings,â McDaniel said. âLimelight is fun because I can play more of my funk and soul music. “
Often he plays bossa nova at the Duchin Lounge.
âI like the entertainment aspect,â McDaniel said. âBut I also like to create an atmosphere for people who are local or maybe visiting.â
After living in Philadelphia for about seven years, he returned to Idaho to pursue his love of the outdoors: biking, fly fishing, and skiing. Still, he can’t shake the jazz sound of the east coast.
McDaniel takes great pride in bringing new songs to people. Although he plays standards like “Fly Me to the Moon” and “You Make Me Feel So Young”, he also plays deep songs like “My Buddy” and “But Not For Me”.
McDaniel has always been “madly obsessed” with the delivery of Chet Baker.
âI think he was very conservative in his trumpet playing and his vocal work,â McDaniel said. “It causes the listener to bend down and come together.”
Years ago he first wrote lyrics in the form of poetry. Today, he lets the music take him where it can. In town, he jams with local jazz favorites like Brooks Hartell.
Recently, McDaniel took back guitar lessons on Zoom. He wants to perfect his art, learn where his melodic guitar fits into a jazz trio without interfering with bass or piano.
Although he would like to record an album in the coming year, McDaniel is in no rush.
âI’m very happy with my weekly concerts at Duchin Lounge and my bi-weekly concerts at Limelight and all the little private parties in between,â McDaniel said. “I love this community, and there is always a familiar face no matter what gig I play.”