Tater at the Stardust


contact for booking:
(702) 354-2947
kid tater contact form


Dana, often seen wearing a John Deere hat, playing poker or swinging a golf club, is an energetic charismatic saxophonist and singer. With a dynamic rockin’ Jazz blues style blended from his eclectic influences, Dana entertains with his soulful music whether singing or blowing!

Loving and influenced by a wide array of music ranging from Swing, Blues, Rock, Jazz, Funk, Classic R&B and Soul, Rockabilly, Disco to Country and Western, this Potato Boy has become well-rounded. He was born with a deep connection to music. In fact, Big Band was the little inspired spud’s first love. “Nothing compares with The Johnny Carson Tonight Show’s Big Band with Doc Severinson, I would sneak out of bed and watch it."

Dana’s originally from Irwindale, CA, started playing the saxophone at age 10, after his parents empathetically said ”NO“ to his first choice, drums. They brought home a saxophone, “I didn’t have a choice, but I surprised myself and I took to it fast.” Dana started with music at 5 years old about the same time he started to golf, bartend and play poker! No joke! His parents had social get-togethers where they all played poker and little Dana would mix the cocktails and fetch the beer.

Due to Dana’s musical cravings and love for the stage, he started performing pretty quickly after taking on the saxophone. His first band concert solo was in 5th grade, “I played ‘Josephine’ on Alto and nailed it.” Dana’s ear for music and his strength as a soloist at such a young age earned him ‘Most Improved Outstanding Band Member’ trophy. He moved to Hesperia for his junior high years, continuing to strive in his advancement in music and ultimately receiving a ‘Jazz Trophy’ award.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, where Dana went to high school and excelled in music, he became his music teacher’s pet, believe it! This teacher, George Wiese, encouraged Dana to play the tenor sax. Dana earned the ‘Louis Armstrong Jazz Award’ and in his graduation year, the ‘John Phillip Sousa Band Award’. As well as being in the ‘Pep Band’, he was in Alaska’s All State Band’ where he first got to travel in the name of music. While other kids had rock garage bands, Dana’s band played Jazz Standards in a garage. “My first professional gig was at the Moose Lodge, playing old swing standards, fake book stuff, a project put together by a University of Alaska college professor.”

Dana started college in Alaska and later met up with his parents who had moved to San Diego. Soon he delivered his “scariest, knee knocking“ performance, playing a sax solo of ‘God Bless America&rsquo to a packed house of ‘San Diego Soccers’ Fans at the Sports Arena.

Entering the San Diego music scene, Dana went on to play with many great musicians and bands; the rest is history.

Dana’s musical influences are highly eclectic, while Big Band Jazz remained Dana’s biggest influence through high school, in the likes of Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson and Don Ellis, he had other influences including John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Paul Desmond and Lenny Picket, to name a few. He later leaned towards the rock sounds of Tower of Power, Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears and the Beatles. It was his diversity that led to Dana’s first real gig, in yet another genre, Rockabilly. He joined Rockin’ Roulettes and thanks to the heavy influences of Buddy Blue, the founder, Dana discovered one of his favorites, Louis Jordan. ”I was turned on to music I was not hip to, Rockabilly, Ska, Tex Mex, Bob Dylan and Los Lobos.“ It was at this time that Dana was christened ‘Kid Tater’. Fitting enough, the next band Kid Tater joined was The Fabulous Spud Brothers.

For 15 years, Kid Tater dug into the San Diego music scene, being in many bands including The Jacks, The Heroes, Private Domain, Hot Monkey Love and his own Dana Garrett Band. He left to LA for a while to be in Lil’ Elmo and the Cosmos and to do some studio work. For the next 11 years he lived and played music between Las Vegas and a farm town in Minnesota, Tater’s roots, playing in bands from the Drew Baker Band to Hot Rods, including one of his own swingin’ blues projects Blue Light Boogie. He even experienced a theater gig with thespians, ‘The Heroes of Rock n Roll’.

When in town, Dana loves to play with local San Diego’s LaRocco brothers band, Vernon’s Burnt Chicken, Rockin’ Blues & Show Band. While Dana currently resides in San Diego, he’s still traveling Route 66 playing Motown, Swing, Oldies and Rock-n-Roll hits with the Las Vegas-based band, Jon Washingtons Sounds Of The Fortunes, enjoying seeing the country and the inside of casinos, especially the poker rooms.

(April 2008)
Well, he was.
Now he’s back to swingin’ in San Diego.