Dan Duguay never planned on becoming a professional musician—let alone an entire band. On a mission to make people smile and earn some extra cash, he strapped a drum on his back, drilled bolts into his shoes, and set off with a guitar and a harmonica. From that moment on, Dan the One Man Band was here to stay.
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While studying political science and anthropology at Carleton University, Dan regularly played in coffee shops and performed at open mic nights, receiving a high amount of praise for his talent. Never one to follow traditional routes, he turned to street performing in Ottawa's ByWard Market and the Sparks Street pedestrian mall. This gave him an opportunity to hone his craft while earning extra income from the tips he collected. For Dan, that’s when the idea of being a professional musician started to come to fruition.
Dan describes himself as more of an entertainer than a musician, which he says is especially important as a street performer.
“If you were a guy standing on the corner playing Bob Dylan or Neil Young songs, people didn’t really notice you. But if you were a guy standing on the corner with a drum on his back, a harmonica, and a guitar singing ‘Like a Virgin,’ people noticed you—and even just saying that makes you smile!”
By leaning into the novelty of his act, Dan is able to set himself apart and stand out as both a performer and a musician. He takes the music seriously but aims to keep his performances lighthearted and comedic.
Having now spent three decades entertaining professionally, Dan the One Man Band has mastered the art of mixing music and comedy to engage audiences of all ages. He regularly performs at corporate events, fairs, festivals, schools, and community events, and has also entertained all over the world in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Thailand, Kenya, and Peru. He has performed on stages, streets, Royal Miles, Music Miles, and he even had a scene in a movie with James Caan. He also released a children’s album in 2019.
Dan is also part of the team at Stagehand. As the music industry changes rapidly and faces new challenges, Dan is a valued team member in reimagining live music experiences and creating new opportunities for artists.
Visit Dan’s Stagehand profile to learn more about his music.