Danny Kastner – bio of a life in progres

Danny Kastner is an award-winning entrepreneur, musician, composer, and producer.

In Jan. 2020, he was recognized at the Art of Elysium Heaven Gala with a Distinguished Award of Recognition, celebrating his 14-years of volunteering, leading music programs for hospitalized kids.

As a musician, he is a 2x BMI Composition Award winner and a 2x ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Composer Award Recipient.  He is a writer-producer with Wayland, Ryan McCartan, Tkay Maidza, Espa, Autumn Rowe, and in 2020 with NYC-based artist, Nellie McKay. As a pianist, he’s the co-founder of a jazz/rock group, Jazz Punks. In 2012, the Punks had a #1 record on the CMJ Jazz Radio charts, spending seven weeks in the top 4. Kastner thereafter toured on keyboards with the Kiefer Sutherland band from 2015 – 2017.  

He is also a Founding Partner & Executive Director of the Milt Olin Foundation since 2014 where he is dedicated to ending distracted driving through the @StopWrex campaign.

As a musician, and alumni of the MIT Media Lab where he crafted computer music software performances, Kastner’s love of tech inspired Music Interactive, one of the earlier music portals, sold to Hal Leonard Corp. Thereafter, founding POPstick, Kastner’s team built innovative animated marketing technologies and coined ‘social network marketing’ as an approach towards brand marketing in 2004. Next, with FanRocket, he went on to partner with top networks, directing and producing online digital video productions for NBC (It’s Your Show), HBO (Wonderglen), and HSN (Faces of Beautiful You). There he also developed VooZoo, a movie-clip sharing technology for Facebook, then sold to Paramount Pictures.

To land on NBC’s The Apprentice third season, he submitted a video entitled “Apprentice the Musical”, which inspired a Broadway musical that never hit the stage. He was cast and eventually “fired” by Donald Trump. Later he was “rehired” by Donald Trump in an episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, where Kastner organized a charity event for underprivileged children, winning praise. ​

This was the thrilling end to Kastner’s television career.