Spotlight Musician: Elan Dassa ’12

Elan Dassa '12
Dassa performs at the Winter Ensembles Concert. Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld.

Leigh Jacobson


When musically oriented students first arrive at Milken, they’re given a choice: Jazz Band or Chamber Ensemble. Most students choose and then commit to the group for the next four years; some students, however, can’t decide. One such student, Elan Dassa ’12, resolved this issue by contributing his cello-playing talents to both.

Although originally a devoted member of only the Chamber Ensemble, Dassa made the decision to also become a part of the Jazz Band this year. Whereas for the Chamber Ensemble he plays the cello (an instrument he’s been practicing for 12 years), in the Jazz Band he rocks the electric bass.

“It’s great,” he said. “Chamber takes more patience and is very rewarding, but Jazz is extremely fun and energetic.”

Dassa first became a music enthusiast at the young age of four, when he started taking piano lessons. He attributes his love of music to his father.

“When I was young, my dad would always play classic rock for me, and it was my favorite thing in the world,” he said. “I knew every Beatles and Doors song by the time I was in kindergarten.”

He also cites musical artist Jim Morrison as his inspiration, calling him his “musical idol.”

In college, Dassa plans on playing music as well — but just with friends.

“I love jam sessions,” he said.

Dassa also hopes to pursue music professionally as well, as either a producer or a performer. For him, music will always remain a critical aspect of life.

“The best thing about music for me is how happy it makes me feel,” he said. “When I play music, I feel this energy I never knew I possessed and just let it out. Playing music with friends is one of the best feelings in the world.”