Dan the Sound Man Gauvin

Posted 11/1/23

As close to a lifelong Cranston resident as he can be, Dan Gauvin, owner of danosound inc., shares a passion for both Cranston and the arts.

"My family all moved to Cranston when I was nine …

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Dan the Sound Man Gauvin


As close to a lifelong Cranston resident as he can be, Dan Gauvin, owner of danosound inc., shares a passion for both Cranston and the arts.

"My family all moved to Cranston when I was nine years old. I grew up on Chestnut Ave with one parent. As a kid I enjoyed hanging out down the street on Lexington Ave with my best friend at that time and we both enjoyed music," said Gauvin.

His mom would bribe him by buying him a record in order to convince him to go to Ann & Hope with her.

"Music moved me then, and still does more than ever today,” he said. “At the age of 10 you could find us pushing a hijacked shopping cart from Almac’s with our guitars, amplifiers, and drums between Lexington Avenue and my dad's garage on Chestnut St. That was the ‘Group Room’.”

During his childhood as a resident of the city he would spend his summers at the Budlong Pool and playing music in the streets. He went to Eden Park, Park View and then graduated from Cranston High School East in 1978.

"My love of music continued to grow and at the age of 17 I decided I would really learn the guitar. I studied Jazz & Classical guitar privately with a Berkley Professor and would lock myself in my room five hours a day to learn how to play music," he said.

Eventually he was hired by a band that had some albums out. They did some tours in Canada and down the coast of California but it was not what he had in mind for the ‘rock star' status he had imagined.

"I decided I would start my own band and bought all the audio equipment,” Gauvin said. “That band lasted about six months, some of the band members could not make rehearsals, one had a hang nail, the drummer left a gig because his drums wouldn't fit on the stage. Too much stress for me. I took my sound equipment and started doing shows.”

That’s when it all came together for him, and he started seeing a new world that involved being behind the scenes. He fell in love with mixing live music.

"I attended seminars and read about sound principals,” explained Gauvin. “I even read an article about the psychosomatic effects between males and females that sound influences. The bottom line is as long as concert goers are “moving” and their ears are not ringing I have done my job correctly. Each show I start with a blank canvas at my console and I paint the warmest picture I can with the talent I have to work with. Mixing audio is my true passion.”

He has worked with some of the finest local and national artists, including Peter Frampton, Cheryl Crow, In Living Color, Dave Brubeck and many others throughout his career. 

In 1998, he was mixing a show and was approached by the chief engineer in the engineering department at WPRI. He was encouraged to apply for the morning and afternoon news audio person.

"I found being locked in a building all day was not for me and I left channel 12 in 2003. All of my audio equipment at that point was gone and I had three awesome sons. I started a small installation company for audio & video systems. By always being fair in my pricing and neurotic about doing the work correctly I was able to make a simple living doing what I loved to do," he said.

In 2005 he met and was then hired by Pi Patel to design and install an elaborate AV system for one of his many projects. Throughout the years he did a fair amount of custom work for Mr. Patel.

"One day he called me to his office and told me he’s retained the “Park Theatre” in Cranston. My heart went “Boom” and my mind tumbled back immediately to my adolescence. I remember my first kiss being in the Park Theatre. Growing up all of my friends and I would often go see movies there and it is a true staple to our Cranston community," he said.

Patel said it will be a state of the art performing arts theatre. Construction started in 2007 but with a massive recession due to the housing crisis, construction would often start and stop due to the uncertainty of the economy.

"I contacted some friends I had made over the years from the Pro Audio world and we installed a state of the art system designed by QSC. Besides the Pro Audio and video distribution we did all the low voltage in the building, the security system, phones, and networks," Gauvin said.

Mr. Patel made a massive investment into the Cranston community, somewhere around ten million dollars and Gauvin truly enjoyed spending many years of “Blood Sweat & Tears” passionately reviving the historic community theatre for the love of music.

"The theatre eventually reopened in the fall of 2009 and I was asked to be the house sound man. After five years my final show under Mr. Patel’s ownership was in 2014," he said.

In February of 2020 he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. One month later the world shut down due to Covid and we found ourselves in a worldwide pandemic.

"I started chemotherapy and tried to stay active. At the time I had no work so I painted my house and kept active anyway I could. With the world breaking from covid the SBA (Small Business Administration) came up with disaster low interest loans to help the world repair. I had nothing to lose so I took a chance and I was back in the sound business. Putting out a sound system in your 20’s is one thing. Putting out a sound system in your 60's with cancer is a whole different story," he said.

As he was fighting through chemotherapy he recalled reading about Ed Brady and his partner Jeff Quinlan, purchasing The Park Theatre in late 2021, with the mission to protect music, arts and education.

"I heard about their mission and was hopeful I would get a call and then one day last fall as the universe would have it, Ed became friends with my son Daniel as he was doing construction work on the revival efforts. Ed called and asked me if I would come back and do some shows and teach his young team. At that point my cancer had spread and I was now stage 4. I told him I had to diagnose the sound system before I made any commitments but after meeting him and his passionate team, I truly appreciate what they were trying to do and their commitment to bringing people back together in these divisive times," he said.

Considering he had not seen this system since 2014 it surprisingly was not in bad shape and they had made some upgrades. There were a few issues with amps, a few mis wiring issues, and disconnected zones.

"I donated my time repairing the system but this time on heavy chemo and sometimes wearing a pump. Once I repaired all the physical stuff, I loaded manufacturers original design file, played some “Sting” through the system, and just smiled throughout the process as I listened to it come back to life," Gauvin sai

Since 2009 through hell and high water Gauvin always felt the Park Theatre would be his final contribution to his city and doing something he enjoys.

"I was absolutely blown away when to my surprise during a recent event Ed, Arlene (Frances) Fallon (Davis) and the team at The Park, along with the Burchfield family unveiled an honorary park bench in their Ring of Honor that now sits outside our community theatre," he said.

"Now, due to the state of the economy and certainly not from lack of effort the theatre is once again in jeopardy.

What I learned in my years is community theaters need support from the public, volunteers, local leaders, donors and grants to survive. I’m hopeful and praying as we all keep fighting through these difficult times our community can come together and put their differences aside to find a way to protect our historic building," he said.

Ed Brady is very emotional when he speaks about Gauvin.

"He's a great guy. A better friend, and an unmatched human being. I am so blessed to be able to call him my friend. If there were 100 Dan's, the world would be in such a better place, He has taught me so much, not just about sound systems, but about life, and how to handle adversity and fight cancer head-on," he said.

"In the meantime if God allows, I will be behind the boards mixing on Friday, November 10th with The Bronx Wanders at The Historic Park Theatre. Come say hello … just not while I’m mixing," Gauvin joked.

Gauvin, sound


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