A true friend to many, Dan Binggeli passed away suddenly due to bacterial meningitis on February 1, 1996, while a sophomore at Tulane University in New Orleans. An accomplished and respected electric bassist, he brought joy to his audiences with an energetic, creative, and skilled playing style, most notably as a member of the mid – 1990s Mamaroneck, NY-based jazz fusion band, Uncle Funkle.
Dan’s decision to attend Tulane was largely driven by his passion for music, and the desire to immerse himself in the sounds of New Orleans. He was a passionate fan of jazz, funk and rock music, who attended numerous concerts at Tipitina’s during his short time as a New Orleans resident.
Dan’s career as a musician was largely facilitated by the outstanding music program in the public school district where he grew up outside of New York City. In the early elementary grades, acoustic guitar was taught to all students. Later in elementary school, Dan took on the trumpet in the school band before turning his attention to the bass in 5th grade.
Right after starting to learn the bass, he joined a rock band with classmates, which would play in a talent show in the school auditorium. In high school, he was selected as the bassist for the New York All-State jazz band, and he also learned to play the upright bass in classical and jazz settings. His last high school band, Uncle Funkle, gigged in the NYC area during the summers of 1994 and ’95 primarily at bars in Greenwich Village. His Tulane band, Van Gogh’s Ear, performed gigs at bars such as the Maple Leaf and the Howlin’ Wolf. Dan’s passing inspired several of his Uncle Funkle band mates as well as his protege, Pete Griffin, to pursue careers in music. These friends have gone on to perform with artists such as Arcade Fire, Zappa Plays Zappa, and Dr. John.
On July 31, 2016, on the eve of what would have been his 40th birthday, friends and family of Dan gathered at a restaurant in his hometown of Larchmont, NY for a food and music event which raised funds for, and awareness of, the Tipitina’s Foundation, in Dan’s honor. This donation page was set up in conjunction with the event for those that would like to donate directly to the Foundation.
Donor names will be shared with Dan’s family, please add “Dan Binggeli” to the comments section on our donate page. To make an anonymous donation, please note that you’d like to remain anonymous in the comments section.