Daniel Decker () is a Puerto Rican - American composer, singer and recording artist known for his unique blending of musical influences from around the globe and infusing them into his own works.
Born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and trained at the famed Crane School of Music in New York, he has charted his own musical course, incorporating many of the diverse musical elements he has encountered along the way. Not content to be limited to one musical genre, he incorporates classical, jazz, pop and world music influences into his music.
He has received critical acclaim for his collaborations with Armenian composer Ara Gevorgian. “Noah’s Prayer” (originally entitled “Mush”) chronicles Noah’s journey to Mount Ararat. “Noah’s Prayer” was debuted in 2002 in Sardarpat, Armenia to celebrate Armenian Independence day. In attendance were Armenian President Robert Kocharian, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians (head of the Armenian Apostolic Church), as well as ambassadors from countries around the world. The concert, which was broadcast live on Armenian television, and via satellite to over 30 nations, has catapulted Decker to celebrity status in Armenia.
The day after the 2002 concert, he heard Gevorgian’s composition entitled “Adana” and felt it was the perfect vehicle to tell the story of the Armenian Genocide, an issue that moved him deeply. Thus, a second collaboration was born. Named after the city where one of the first massacres of the Armenian people took place, “Adana” tells the story of the Armenian Genocide, during which soldiers of the Ottoman Empire forced 1.5 million Armenians into starvation, torture and extermination because they would not renounce their Christian faith. As with their first collaboration, Decker wrote the song’s epic lyrics to complement the musical landscape of Ara Gevorgian. “I wrote ”Adana” not only as a way to draw international attention to a terrible tragedy, but as a source of healing to the Armenian people,” explains Decker. "Daniel has done a great thing for the people of Armenia,” says Gevorgian. Cross Rhythms, Europe’s leading religious magazine and web portal said of “Adana”, “seldom has a disaster of untold suffering produced such a magnificent piece of art..”
He was officially invited by the Armenian government to sing “Adana” at a special concert in Yerevan, Armenia on April 24 2005 to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which was broadcast live on Armenian television, and featured on BBC news and CNN throughout the world. To date, “Adana” has been translated into 17 languages and recorded by singers and musicians around the world.
While Decker sings across the globe, he has found a special place in his heart for the Armenian people. He has been working with relief organizations to bring aid to the poorest regions and to those that have been hit the hardest, children and the elderly.
His latest CD, “My Offering”, is a clear example of his approach to composing. Engaging pop with exotic instrumentation like flamenco guitars and Armenian duduk and kanun are particular highlights. In Decker’s words, “from classical tradition, to Latin jazz and pop, to modern spiritual songs and Brazilian samba, I applaud what makes each of us unique.”
In addition to “Noah’s Prayer and “Adana”, both of which feaure the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the disc features eight additional tracks including, “My Offering”, Decker’s contribution to the world of modern worship songs. In the tradition of Passion and Hillsongs, “My Offering" is a concert favorite and seems destined for modern worship songbooks worldwide. “There Is A Place” is a spirited Brazilian samba that makes you get on your feet and move. Infectious melody and rich arrangement, with luscious vocals and powerful horns, Latin guitars and percussion. “Dust in the Wind” is a rare cover version of the Kansas original that moves the song into fresh territory with an inventive rearrangement by Decker. The final track “And So It Goes” is a fitting conclusion to such a rich musical palette. It is an intimate piano ballad reflecting back on the brevity of life, yet looking optimistically towards the future.