Music flows through his veins. Born into a musical family, Dan’s father, Jerry Orloff, was inducted into Nashville’s International Barbershop Society’s Hall of Fame in 2011 and having Bob Dylan as his cousin, Dan was inspired to pick up the guitar in 1963. While growing up in Daly City, he began to explore his love of music by playing in elementary school rock bands and talent shows. From 2004 to 2010, Dan played drums in San Jose cover band Black Pearl. Today, he occasionally plays drums or guitar and sings harmonies in classic rock cover bands in the South Bay.

Dan’s affinity for music can only be surpassed by his love of its history and can be traced back to his 1978 appearance on ABC’s Name That Tune and the decades of service to Bay Area history projects, including twelve years as a board member with History San José. In 2005, Dan co-founded San Jose Rocks, a program of History San José that celebrates Silicon Valley’s role in rock music. In just two years, San Jose Rocks produced signature events, created a robust web presence, curated valuable rock ‘n’ roll content, and shared that content via lectures and presentations to elementary school students.

Dan owns a successful marketing company, Orloff Marketing in San Jose. His firm serves as the out-sourced marketing department for start-ups and small to medium-sized businesses throughout the Bay Area. Dan is a managing member and part owner of Pruneyard Cinemas and Cedar Room, served on History San José‘s board of directors for twelve years, is an active member of Rotary Club of San Jose and member of the San Jose Fountain Blues & Brews Festival and Foundation board of directors.

How Dan Got the Band Back Together

March 3, 2021, By Kathy Royer

Dan Orloff and I met over music. Of course, we met over music. We had known a lot of the same music people for around 15 years, we had each met the other’s ex-spouse, we were at the same place at the same time at numerous gatherings, yet we had never met. Then one night, a friend of mine and I went to a Bruce Springsteen tribute performance and an after-event at Cedar Room, the reincarnation of Boswell’s, in the Pruneyard. I knew Dan was one of the owners, and he was there, so I introduced myself since we had so many mutual friends. We soon became Facebook friends, eventually bonded on FB after losing our mothers a few months apart, just missed each other at more music events, and then we finally connected.

After several months of enjoying lots of live local music, Covid-19 put an end to the social fun, and our live music was Dan making videos on his guitar in the living room. We made the best of our “bubble”, along with his adorable 17 1/2-year-old pug, Rachel. Inevitably, while weathering the impact of Covid, dramatic changes in our work lives, and some big birthdays, the subject of the “bucket list” would come up. What did we want to do with the rest of our lives?

While I was studying to make changes in my life, and as I gathered all of my experiences to become a life/wellness coach, it seemed only natural to practice on Dan. Although Dan had started San Jose Rocks in 2006, he got distracted and he had not worked on SJR since 2008. But I could tell that it was still in his heart. How would he feel if he never finished putting it back together again? What would happen to all of those stories if he did not share them as he had intended to do? What would it mean if he missed out on all of the conversations he still wanted to make happen?

We also read a book that seemed to tap into many of the things we were feeling and discussing: ‘Life Is in the Transitions, Mastering Change at Any Age’ by Bruce Feiler. In this really illuminating book, a series of interviews with hundreds of people provide an exploration of life stories to understand the nature of transitions and how to navigate change. The power of a story really resonated with us both. And Dan was mesmerized by the power of sharing stories. As Bruce Feiler explains, cultivating our memories improves the quality of life. Storytelling gives greater meaning to life. Sharing of stories connects us. There is power in both telling the story and hearing the story, and something new and surprising is created in the experience.

Dan has already enjoyed some unexpected and magical moments bringing SJR back to life. I know he hopes he can share some magic with you. Cheers to San Jose Rocks!