Daniel Peter Infantino, 69, of Pinehurst, NC passed away Saturday, March 2, 2019, with loving family by his side.
Danny was born September 23, 1949 in College Point, Queens, N.Y. to Peter Michael Infantino and Teresa Irene Wilkinson. A lifelong musician, Danny began studying guitar at age fourteen with jazz finger-style guitarist Howard Morgen and later studied with classical guitarist William Matthews in New York City. He began taking on his own private students as a teenager when the Beatles fever hit the US, sparking a devotion to teaching that would continue for the rest of his life.
He was lead guitarist and singer in several bands that opened for Neil Diamond, The Critters, and he played many venues in New York, including the Café Wha in Greenwhich Village. As a duo with songwriter Richard Ivans, he performed at the Village Gate, the Night Owl Café and played opposite folk legends Tim Hardin, Odetta, Richie Havens. He formed Blackwater in the 80s, which became the house band at the famous Lone Star Café. He went on to perform at intervals for several years in Bermuda, first with Blackwater, and then as a solo performer, ultimately becoming the second-highest paid entertainer on the island.
At age 38, Danny left behind his success in Bermuda to pursue a higher education, the first of his family to do so. He earned a B.A. in Music at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in North Carolina, and continued his study under Christopher Berg at the University of South Carolina, earning a Master of Music degree in classical guitar performance in 1993. He concurrently became a professor of music theory, history and guitar at Sandhills Community College. Along with co-writer and friend Stephen Smith, he won the New Folk Songwriting competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville TX in 1997, and the duo later performed at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN.
In 2001, Danny was the recipient of the Sam Ragan Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Fine Arts of North Carolina. In addition to teaching guitar privately in Southern Pines, he enjoyed work as a wedding and special event musician, captivating audiences throughout North Carolina.
His record credits include thirteen albums of his own arrangements and compositions. After building his own recording studio in 2008, Danny focused his efforts in producing music that would go on to be featured in films and on many national television programs.
In addition to his musical endeavors, he also found pleasure in reading historical novels, cooking fabulous meals for his friends and family, playing tennis, and traveling. He will be remembered by those who knew him for his kind, charismatic demeanor, his patience, humor, generosity, and his ability to inspire everyone around him to achieve their greatest potential.
He is predeceased by his parents, and his brother, Peter John Infantino.
Danny is survived by his wife, Seren Lyerly Infantino; their son, Daniel Alan Infantino; sister, Diane Infantino-Herring; nieces Donna, Melissa, and Erica; son and daughter, Trey Hogan and Rebecca Colwell; grandchildren, Austin, Eleanor, Alex, Aidan, James, and Kentley; and father in law, Alan Lyerly.
A memorial concert will be held at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines on March 31, 2019 at 2:00 PM with family, friends, former students and fellow musicians joining together in celebration of Danny’s life. For more details as they become available, please visit www.dannyinfantino.com
Online condolences can be made to www.bolesfuneralhome.com.
Services entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.