Dan Kanter

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Dan Kanter
Birth nameDaniel Joseph Kanter
BornOttawa, Ontario, Canada
Occupation(s)Producer, songwriter, musical director, musician,
InstrumentsGuitar, piano, keyboard, drums, bass, harmonica [1]
Years active2000–present
Associated actsJustin Bieber
Ariana Grande
Shawn Mendes
Bob Weir
Grateful Dead
Julia Michaels

Daniel Joseph "Dan" Kanter (born 1981) is a multi-instrumentalist, musical director, performance coach, and multi-platinum-selling songwriter/producer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[2][3] He is the musical director and former lead guitarist for Justin Bieber. Kanter has written and produced numerous songs and albums – most notably co-writing and co-producing the song "Be Alright" on Bieber's album Believe, and co-producing Bieber's albums My Worlds Acoustic and Believe Acoustic. Kanter has also directed and performed with Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Miley Cyrus, Shawn Mendes,[4] Drake, Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, Ariana Grande, Logic (musician),[5] Usher,[6] Julia Michaels,[7] Keith Urban,[8] and Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish. He was a judge on the YTV singing competition TV show The Next Star [1] and the CBC music competition TV show Searchlight.[9] He is the host of the CBC show Guitars In Hand with Dan Kanter.[10]

Early years[edit]

Kanter was born in Ottawa, Ontario. At a young age, Kanter learned piano, drums, and guitar.[1] When he was 13, he co-starred on the television show Leaps And Bounds. Kanter began playing clubs with his band Hubris in his hometown of Ottawa, Ontario, at the young age of 14. While attending Sir Robert Borden High School, Kanter co-wrote a full-length musical titled "Destiny: The Musical" which was performed at the school. Kanter headed to Toronto to study classical composition and analysis at York University. While at York University, Kanter played bass in local Toronto funk band Avenue Road. He graduated in 2007 from York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in music and is pursuing a master's degree in musicology at York University's Graduate school under the supervision of Rob Bowman.


Work with Justin Bieber[edit]

In 2010, Kanter co-produced Bieber's album My Worlds Acoustic. [11] In 2011, Kanter starred in the 3-D concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.[12] As of 2019, the film's gross holds the record for the most successful concert film of all time [13] and the third most successful documentary of all time.[14] Kanter also co-wrote and produced the song "Be Alright" on Bieber's albums Believe (2012) and Believe Acoustic (2013).[15] In 2013 Kanter was featured in the biographical concert film Justin Bieber's Believe.[12] Kanter co-produced and performed on "What Do You Mean?" (Acoustic) on Bieber's album "Purpose (Justin Bieber album)" (bonus track).[16] Kanter co-produced and co-wrote the Poo Bear, Justin Bieber, and Jay Electronica song "Hard To Face Reality" on Poo Bear's 2018 album "Poo Bear Presents: Bearthday Music".[17]

Other accomplishments[edit]

Kanter was a judge on the hit YTV singing competition TV show "The Next Star".[1] He has performed on two episodes of Saturday Night Live. Kanter co-wrote the song "ABC" on Cody Simpson's album Free (Cody Simpson album). Kanter directed Logic (musician), Khalid (singer), and Alessia Cara's powerful performances of 1-800-273-8255 (song) at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards and 60th Annual Grammy Awards.[5] In 2017, he was a judge on the CBC music competition TV show "Searchlight".[9] Kanter is the host of the CBC show "Guitars In Hand with Dan Kanter".[10] Furthermore, he co-wrote the song "Infra-Red" on Three Days Grace's 2018 album Outsider (Three Days Grace album).[citation needed]


Kanter grew up in a musical family. His father – an avid Bob Dylan fan – directed Canadian productions of musicals including The Who's Tommy, Les Misérables, Chicago (musical) and Little Shop Of Horrors.[18] Kanter cites Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elton John and Metallica as his biggest influences. He is a fan of grunge era bands, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and the Smashing Pumpkins. Kanter's guitar influences include Jimi Hendrix, Zakk Wylde, Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, and Trey Anastasio of Phish.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Kanter currently resides in the Forest Hill community of Toronto.[citation needed] In October 2010 Kanter married Fashion Director Yael Latner; at the wedding, Bieber performed.[19] Kanter is a foodie.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d "York University Magazine". York University.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Notable YP Dan Kanter". Notable.com. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012.
  3. ^ "Recording Industry in Numbers" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 9, 2013.
  4. ^ "Thornhill rock star part of Canadian Music Week".
  5. ^ a b "Dan Karter- Instagram". Instagram. January 29, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  6. ^ Eisen, Benjy (September 11, 2013). "Justin Bieber's Musical Director Dan Kanter Jams With Bob Weir". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  7. ^ Bliss, Karen (June 30, 2017). "Canada 150: Grimes, Imagine Dragons, Shawn Hook, Julia Michaels & More Reflect on the Anniversary". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 29, 2017. Retrieved October 28, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 2, 2017. Retrieved September 1, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ a b Staff, Editorial (August 18, 2017). "Guitars in Hand: Dan Kanter jams with legendary blues guitarist Colin James". CBSMUSIC. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  11. ^ Doyle, Patrick (February 17, 2011). "Justin Bieber's Guitarist Dan Kanter Speaks About Working With the Teen Phenom". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Daniel Kanter". IMDb. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  13. ^ Hansen, Briana (July 30, 2019). "The 20 Highest-Grossing Concert Movies". Work+Money. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  14. ^ Welk, Brian (July 15, 2019). "5 Top Grossing Documentaries at the Box Office, From 'They Shall Not Grow Old' to 'Fahrenheit 9/11' (Photos)". The Wrap. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  15. ^ "Justin Bieber- Believe Acoustic". AllMusic. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  16. ^ Lewis, Casey (November 13, 2015). "Purpose Is the Comeback Album Justin Bieber Needed". teenVOUGE. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  17. ^ Fernandez, Suzette (March 20, 2018). "Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, J Balvin, Anitta & More to Join 'Poo Bear Presents Bearthday Music' Album". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  18. ^ Culbert, Lori (May 19, 2017). "Story of a shattered life: A single childhood incident pushed Dawn Crey into a downward spiral". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Doyle, Patrick (February 17, 2011). "Justin Bieber's Guitarist Dan Kanter Speaks About Working With the Teen Phenom". Rolling Stone.