Daniel Petersen III Foundation
Motivational / Inspirational Brand Ambassador / Artist

Danno's history

Short Overview of International Endorsed DW Drummer, International – Inspirational - Motivational Speaker and 44th President Barack Obama - Lifetime Achievement Award14 year old Danno Petersen.

After an absence of 8 years, Danno (Daniel Petersen III) returned to be a special guest to open the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The Petersen family have been in the USA since January and will return to South Africa in June. Danno has been on tour in the USA to motivate and inspire young people to reach for their dreams. His goal was to reach 100k students in 90 days. He did it with his first TV show that reached more than 100 million viewers. Danno has visited, on average, 3 schools per day and he was very well received. Daniel performs a few songs and then addresses the learners in a motivational talk. His Talk includes: making the right friends; your friends could determine your ultimate destination; be disciplined, work hard at what you do; stay focused; find your passion and go for it. These are some of the topics Danno addresses in his speech:

WHO IS DANNO: The University of the Western Cape and Daniel Petersen made history together when, at age 11, Daniel Petersen became the youngest student, in South Africa, to enter university. Daniel Petersen III - or Danno as he is known on stage and to his global fan base - is the youngest Yamaha-endorsed drummer. Yamaha endorsed the talented youngster at the tender age of four. Daniel has represented South Africa on world stages with the New Orleans Jazz festival under his belt at just six-years-old.  He has put his drumsticks to work at Madiba's 90th, 93rd, and 95th birthday celebrations as well as at a fundraiser for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital in Portugal with former Governor  of the Reserve Bank Tito Mboweni.  But this is not what got Daniel his Lead SA nomination and ultimately, the secondever Lead SA Youth Hero in the Western Cape. 

Rather, it was his incredible work through the Daniel Petersen Foundation. Through his foundation, Daniel has made it possible for hundreds of underprivileged children to receive their own instruments and share the joy music brings. 

As Danno says in his own words, ‘I’ve decided to dedicate my life to change the lives of young people positively’ . As an ambassador for South Africa as well as having a heart that matches his incredible talent, young Danno is more than deserving of the Western Cape Lead SA Youth Hero. After 10 Years with Yamaha as an Endorsed Artist Danno moved on and was personally signed by the President of DW Drums USA – Mr. Don Lombardi as an Official Int ernational Endorsed Artist - last year on his 14th birthday (see attached media release from DW Drum Workshop INC.) “Much like our relationship with such iconic players as Josh Freese and Tony Royster, Jr. who also became DW artists when they were very young, Danno is one of those rare young artists whose gifts transcends his youth,” said Drum Workshop, Inc. Founder Don Lombardi. “DW is looking forward to working with him for many years to come.”  Vice President of DW Drums and global leader in drum design Mr. John Good personally designed and oversaw the manufacturing of Danno’s first ever 15 piece Customised Collectors Series Drum-kit. The first of its kind for an African Artist. ( see attached pic). This is what Danno has to say, “ Everyone, if they work hard, can achieve anything. You have to put in the hours. If you don’t practice you can’t be number one.” Danno’s Book is finally in print and will be released in the next few weeks– “ Danno - The Miracle Baby”

    Recipient of the 44 th President Barack Obama – Lifetime Achievement Award


- Danno’s starts playing drums when still in diapers. 

- Makes his first appearance on National Television. 

- Former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka invites Daniel to play at her official residence in Cape Town.

- Daniel makes history as the youngest artist to receive a full endorsement from Yamaha and Anatolian Cymbals.  

- Danno starts playing gigs. 

- Performs at Freedom Day Celebration for President Mbeki 

- Live performances at the World Trade Centre – New Orleans, USA; International Convention Centre - Children’s Hospital - New Orleans, USA November – 2008 

- Child Welfare Annual Dinner Johannesburg, SA Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa, Ms Baleka Mbete, International Woman’s Day Celebration in Parliament. 

- Forms the DANIEL PETERSEN III FOUNDATION making it possible at his 6th birthday at the Grand West Entertainment Centre for 200 kids from disadvantaged backgrounds and under-privileged environments to receive brand new flutes from Yamaha. They were treated to Nando’s and of course a drumming solo of a life-time from Danno himself. 

- Performs at 90th Birthday celebrations of Nelson Mandela. 

- Plays at a multi-national workshop of Don Wilson – eight times kickboxing champion of the USA. He was Don’s ultimate example of, “ someone who believes he can do it ”. 

- Danno is invited to perform at one of the inauguration functions of President Barack Obama. This was respectfully declined! 

- Danno performs at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival USA. 

- 7 - 11 yrs : Makes history when Danno appears in a SA Afrikaans text book for grade 7 learners for the next 5 years.  

- Danno makes the line-up for the popular New Orleans jazz festival in the USA. (Close to 700,000 people). 

- Performs with his family in the Expresso Family contest shown on SABC 3 where Danno sang along with his sister, and also reveals an accomplished command of the jazz piano while his father plays drums this time. (Continued 8 yrs old) 

- Performs at Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday in Portugal. This was also the fundraiser with former Governor of the reserve bank Tito Mboweni for the Nelson Mandela Children’s hospital. 

- His Yamaha advertisement is voted by ADFOCUS  Financial Mail – by more than 1 million people out of 70 000 commercials – as one of the 20 most liked ads on TV. 

- Appears live with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at the Christmas concert 2011. This concert was broadcast to over 270 Countries worldwide.  

- Performs at the Nelson Mandela’s 95th Birthday celebrations in Washington DC and UCLA Los Angeles as a special guest of His Excellency Mr. Ebrahim Rasool – SA Ambassador to the USA. 

- Plays live at a very prestigious UNISA Gala Dinner with the following musicians: Michael Philips – Base guitar player for Judith Sepuma, Cameron Ward – Guitar player for Hugh Masekela, Johan Mthethwa – keyboard player for Joyous Celebration. 

- Becomes SA’s youngest University Student and enrolls at the University of the Western Cape UWC.  

- January 2015, he records his first demo album at Capital records Hollywood USA in. One of the youngest to record a demo album.

- Danno passes grade 8 music exams with a distinction through Trinity College London as the youngest person in South Africa to achieve it at 13. 

- Performs on the soundtrack of the film, Kalushi – Biopic of the Solomon Mahlangu story – with the Rashid Lanie Band. The film premiered in March, the soundtrack winning the Rapid Lion Award for the best music score. 

- Attended the Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp at Loyola University – New Orleans. 

- Appeared on the Drum Channel with Don Lombardi President of  DW Drums 

- Attended a Jam session with Earth Wind and Fire Producer Wayne Vaughn.

- 30 September 2016 – Danno turns 14 yrs old, a decade ago since Yamaha endorsement.  

- October 1, Join the DRUM WORKSHOP INC.  DW DRUMS INTERNATIONAL as an official International Artist. 

- In November 2016, Danno completed his LTCL – Licentiate in Music from the College of London (equal to a NQF LEVEL 6 by South African National Qualification standards –Degree in Music). The youngest Teacher in SA.  

- Danno toured the USA where conducted 51 music workshops as an International speaker and drummer. ±300 students per workshop attended. 

- He has done several Live TV shows with more than 100 million people viewing his appearance. 

- Recipient of the 44 th President Barack Obama – Lifetime Achievement Award

List of YouTube Clips:  

- Video clip of Danno’s unplugged and unrehearsed performance with this US West Angelica Church of Christ Los Angeles – 12 years old https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emHuN5-WTEI  

- Danno’s performance at a school in Anaheim Los Angeles. This performance was covered by ABC Channel 7 and was on the evening news that evening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WNDlfvxvEs&feature=emshare_video_user  

- Documentary on Danno https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2wNXh_eagQ&feature=em-share_video_user 

- Danno plays at a prestigious gala Unisa Dinner a song he loves called Pick up the pieces with the Average White Band  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLLHDSonUfU&feature=em-share_video_user 
- Danno at NAMM 2015 trying out a new type of drum kit RotodruM 12 yrs old https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGwf8JxjQQQ&feature=em-share_video_user 

- African Drummer plays Dave Weckl’s Crossing Paths  – Danno Petersen 13 years old https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96HJElh-zZI&feature=em-share_video_user 
- Against All Odds | Daniel Peterson – Musical prodigy and university student at 11 years old  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHnaq6QAagc&ebc=ANyPxKrvoFc_uxuj5d85L5O_YOZY 9r-B--IrxdjW4Zc0RRUn53gYYhhk0_XmEVK3EAwCZ2nzv8cP 

Danno’s love of music

Combining school education with your passion  and constantly pursuing excellence


Danno Petersen and his family!

Danny and Antoinette Petersen
Married - 20 years

Robyn Petersen

Danno comes from a stable secure home with grounded principals

Danno's parents strongly believe in developing both children as well rounded individuals who will contribute positively to society.

Danno and his sister arrived through a prophesy after his parents suffered four failed pregnancies.
Danno's parents firmly believe that they are not raising only a talented and gifted drummer but they are well aware that they are raising someone's father and husband hence as parents they need to set the example.