Pioneering rave promoter Daniel J dead at 55
Local night club disc jockey and rave promoter "Daniel J" Ward has died. He was 55 years old. His family confirmed to KITV; he had been recently dealt with health and heart issues before he died at his Kaneohe home.
In the mid to late '80s, Ward, known to many as Daniel J, became the foremost DJ for House Music in Hawaii. He was born and raised in San Francisco and moved to Hawaii in 1985. He got his start in Hawaii working for Jack Law at the famed Wave Waikiki and other nightclubs around Honolulu. Ward also became a popular radio personality hosting a live-mix show on KIKI Hot i94FM and his groundbreaking live-in-club mix show "Dance Floor Democracy" on Radio Free Hawaii.
Fans say Daniel J elevated Honolulu's electronic music scene, credited with throwing one of the first raves in Honolulu, at a dance club in Waikiki. On New Year's Eve 1999, he partnered with Love Fest Hawaii promoter G-Spot to produce part of a worldwide concert on the BBC featuring DJ Carl Cox. At the time of his death Daniel was still actively performing at clubs in Honolulu and creating music at his "Rain Forrest Studio" in Kaneohe, and managing his son's ukulele career.
He is survived by his son Zavior Amore Ward, his mother Anne Palmera Ward, brother Steve Ward, sister Mary Ward Brady her husband Gil Brady and their two daughters, Dr. Meaghan Brady Nelson (niece) her husband Eric Nelson and their two daughters, Anne Brady Perron (niece) her husband Jay Perron and their daughter.
There is a celebration of life planned at Sans Souci Beach Club at Barefoot Beach Cafe this Sunday, January 12 from 2 in the afternoon until sunset. The open lawn event is free, open to the public, and family-friendly.