Meet Boston’s Most Playful One-Man Band

Dan Friedman's whimsical multi-instrument music device also known as "Professor World Band", Massachusetts, United States.
Dan Friedman’s whimsical multi-instrument music device also known as “Professor World Band” in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Dayane Smith)

Piecing together dozens of random objects with tie-dye duct tape and pipe cleaners to decorate his whimsical musical instruments, a street artist in his 60s invites all people in Boston, Massachusetts, to admire his crazy handmade machine while turning the city’s street corners into colorful music stages.

Boston’s most playful one-man-band run by “Ramblin’ Dan,” aims to convert the energy of music into “peace waves.” The street musician trumpets that he can reach all of the world’s trouble spots through people’s positive energy, smiling and laughing.

The Boston-based artist, whose real name is Dan Friedman, has played his music in about 40 countries over a 40 year period. Australia, Bosnia, Croatia, Fiji, France, Guatemala, Israel, Italy, Mexico, and Singapore, are only a few of the places where he has performed. Using western Massachusetts as his home base, where he has set up his studio and workshop in the basement of his residence in Shelburne Falls, Ramblin’ Dan has been sharing the message of love in the city of Boston for years.

Dan Friedman performing in front of a group of curious children in Boston, Massachusetts.
Dan Friedman performing in front of a group of curious children in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Most weekends I still make it to Boston to play in the public gardens. It’s been going quite well for me. I guess folks really appreciate it because the world really needs lots of peace waves these days. So I figure I’ll just keep on keeping on for as long as I’m able,” Dan Friedman’s post on his personal website reads. “I’ve been adding lots of songs to my repertoire and lots of crazy new dodads and thingamagigs and drums and sounds to the professor world band.”

During the last few months, Friedman has been experimenting with adding blocks under the wheels of his rotating stage. “It is like a giant rocking chair that rocks back-and-forth to the beat as I play it. It is effortless and so much fun and helps me get into the beat and looks really crazy,” he says.

If lucky enough, Boston’s visitors can spot Dan Friedman and his one-man-band performing most weekends in Boston Common or Harvard Square.

Professor World Band
Photo of Dan Friedman in Boston Common by Katerina Papathanasiou/The Vale Magazine
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