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As told by her and her closest admirer: Mom.
Dani-elle Marie Kleha was always a precocious child. She started talking at just 11 months of age. A month later, when she turned a year old, she began putting her words to song and showing the first signs of a gift that would blossom beyond anyone’s imagination in the years to come. Little did her parents or others around her realize it at the time, but a songstress had been born.
By the time she was three years old, she was a full-blown performer, singing for an audience and earning acclaim for her vocal talents from the very beginning. It all started, innocently enough, in a Sunday school class. The teacher asked the children if any of them would be willing to sing a song for the class, but none of the kids raised their hands. So Dani-elle volunteered. “I can’t read” she told the teacher, “but if you give Mommy the words, I will learn them.” Learn them she did, and she returned with the song memorized for her first public solo performance. By the end of the song, everyone was applauding enthusiastically, bowled over by her vocal power and stage presence. Dani-elle was hooked, and there was never any doubt from that day forward what she wanted to do with her life. The little girl who had been born during a blizzard in Scranton on January 9, 1996, was determined to one-day take the music world by storm! “From that moment on all I wanted to do was sing,” she recounts.
She entered her first talent show at the age of nine, where she sang the song “The Wizard and I” from the Broadway musical, Wicked. It was a natural choice for Dani-elle, a huge Wizard of Oz fan, who has amassed an extensive collection of “Oz” and Judy Garland memorabilia throughout the years. She even has a picture of herself with several of the original Munchkins from the classical 1939 musical. Even though, at just 9 years old, she was the youngest of 18 contestants who participated in the program that night, Dani-elle went on to win second place in the competition. With her stunning success that night, Dani-elle was more motivated than ever to pursue her dream of singing. She began taking vocal training, and later piano lessons, at Marywood University and guitar at Lackawanna College She also has received coaching from Scott Coulter in New York City, a testament to her dedication to her craft. Coulter performs with Stephen Schwartz who is the musical director of Wicked, the Broadway musical. She travels to Nashville, Tennessee frequently to study with Renee Grant-Williams, renowned vocal coach to Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, The Dixie Chicks, Emma Mae Jacob, and Martina McBride and many more. While in Nashville she has recorded at the famous Ryman and has performed at many local venues. She said that Nashville is a wonderful learning experience for her from the techniques taught and all the wonderful people she has met, including Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, Leann Rimes and so many others. “Nashville has become a second home to my parents and I” Dani-elle states. Dani-elle is not only a singer, but is also a credited songwriter. Writing with her Nashville mentor, and Grammy Nominated songwriter, Amanda Williams. Dani-elle’s freshman compilation, “Dream Big”was a mix of originals and covers recorded in the NEPA area. Dani-elle recently recorded her debut original album in Nashville Tennessee entitled “Eleven” in which she wrote or co-wrote all 10 songs on the album. It was recorded and produced by Chip Martin and mastered by George Tutko also in Nashville.
Her vocal role models include Martina McBride, Patsy Cline, Hillary Scott, and Connie Francis,. In addition to all of the time she spends training and performing, Dani-elle has always had a heart for helping others in any way she can. She is frequently asked to sing the Star Spangled Banner, a request that she is more than happy to fulfill, also very active with the local pet shelters and animal organizations volunteering and donating her gift of song to raise funds for them throughout the year. Dani-elle has partnered with local PA charity, Marley’s Mission, an organization in which helps children and their families who have been traumatized through equine therapy. Dani-elle sings at the Marley’s barn for many of the kids, and recently donated a part of the proceeds of her CD release for “Eleven” in which over 500 people attended. She also devotes her time to musical charity events held throughout the area. Dani-elle is on the Board of Directors of N.O.T.E. an entertainment company based in the Southern tier of New York, She is also a proud nominating and voting member of the
Country Music Association, Nashville, Tennessee,ASCAP and Songwriting and Music Business based in Nashville ,Tennessee. She also has her own music publishing, Dani-elle Marie Kleha Music. Dani-elle plans to spend much of 2014 touring with her band, Music City. Dani-elle is the daughter of Basil and Debbie Kleha. .When she is asked about her career her answer is the same as it was when she was three years old and performed her first solo:
“I just want to sing”, and always Dream Big!!!”