Final Note: Daniel Adam Savell

2/11/1975 – 11/17/2023
Member. Percussion

It is with deep sadness that we share the heartbreaking news that Daniel Adam Savell has died. He passed away November 17, 2023, succumbing to injuries suffered in a sports accident. Dan was born February 11, 1975, in Newton, Massachusetts and was co-founder and co-owner of L.A. Percussion and Backline Rentals in Santa Clarita, California.

Dan is survived by his beloved wife, Abby Savell, and their three children, Jadon, Evan, and Rachel. Mourning with them are his parents Naomi and Lawrence Savell of Rancho Palos Verdes, and brothers Jonathan (Tyanna) and Michael. He is likewise missed by brothers-in-law Graham Orr and Jeremy Orr (Nina), mother-in-law Margo Jaffe Orr, father-in-law T.J. Orr (Debbi), aunts Barbara Jaffe (Larry Ross) and JoAnn Jaffe (Michael Gertler), and by many other relatives and friends.

Dan and Abby Savell

Daniel started violin lessons at four and never stopped learning new instruments and music. He attended Palos Verdes Peninsula High School and then studied at Fullerton College before transferring to the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) where he earned his BFA in multi-focus percussion and studied with John Bergamo, among others. Dan led and played in numerous steel bands, frequently with his muse and fellow percussionist, Abby. He was known for his great, buttery feel and improvisational skills on steel pans – some of which he and Abby acquired in Trinidad on their honeymoon. Dan was a visionary impresario who delighted in collaborating to make musical dreams come true.

Dan and Abby developed LAPR into a premier rental house of professional percussion instruments, electronic instruments, and production support, and into a creative hub for sound exploration. They worked with composers and musicians on projects that brought new sounds to many stages. LAPR has supported events, performers, and acts such as Danny Elfman, Barbra Streisand, “Encanto” at the Hollywood Bowl, the Eagles, Zedd, “Wild Up,” “Avatar 2,” the President’s Own Marine Band, Ojai Music Festival, 20th Century Fox, Disney, Hulu, Netflix, Sao Paulo Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, UCLA Royce Hall, Colburn School, USC, LA Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, as well as many film, TV, and game composers. As Dan and Abby said in a 2022 media interview: “We are ambassadors in percussion… We always have our eyes open, love finding new artistic pathways, enjoy sharing connections with other musicians and artists while maintaining approachability and a sense of humor.”

Dan was generous and gentle, and he helped to make LAPR a good workplace for employees and family members. He had skills and high standards that he applied to building, maintaining, tuning, setting up, and playing percussion instruments. He freely shared knowledge gleaned from working with other artists and from carefully observing all that transpired around him.

Enjoying art in many forms, Dan was an avid devotee of film as well as music. For Dan the people and the process were paramount; he adored working collectively to co-create live performances that seemed barely imaginable or attainable.

Dan had intense respect for the natural world and was forever curious. His practical skills came in part from training as an Eagle Scout. Being a devoted husband to Abby and a caring father to Jadon, Evan, and Rachel, he especially enjoyed adventures when they all went hiking locally and when they explored new sites visiting family members in various parts of California, as well as Arizona, Colorado, the East Coast, and Canada.

Dan was loving and cared deeply for his family and friends. He was much-loved, in turn, and widely known as a mensch. He will be missed in many circles.

The family thanks the medical staff of UCLA’s neuro ICU and the many people who have offered support and condolences. Funeral services were held November 22 at Groman Eden Eternal Light Chapel and included musical offerings by Abby and friends John Ballinger, Ray McNamara, Scott Breadman, Sean Daniel, and David Beery. Internment was at Eden Memorial Park, Hills of Moses, in Mission Hills.