Danlee Mitchell (born 1936) met Harry Partch in 1956, at the University of Illinois, when Mr. Mitchell (class of '59' and '62') entered the School of Music as a music major and performed in the world premier of Partch's The Bewitched. From 1958 until Partch's death in 1974, Mitchell was Partch's assistant, ensemble manager, music director and conductor, personal consultant and manager, and pal.
In the Summer of 1958 Mitchell lived with Partch in Evanston, Illinois, and organized an ensemble of musicians for a recording and film of Partch's U.S.Highball (now available on Innova 400), and recordings of Partch's Ulysses at the Edge and San Francisco Newsboy Cries. In the Fall of 1958, Mitchell again performed in The Bewitched, and in the Fall of 1959 Mitchell became a graduate assistant to Partch and Jack McKenzie at the University of Illinois. Between 1959 and 1962 Mitchell managed and performed in premiers of Revelation in the Courthouse Park, Water, Water and many of the smaller chamber works of Partch. During Summer 1963, Mitchell lived with Partch in Petaluma where And on the Seventh Day Petals Fell in Petaluma was recorded with Partch and Michael Ranta. In 1968 Mitchell performed in the film The Music of Harry Partch, and 1968-1969 was ensemble manager, music director and conductor for the influential Whitney Gallery retrospective concert of Partch's music and the world premier performance and recording of Delusion of the Fury. In 1972 Mitchell was ensemble manager and music director, appearing in the film The Dreamer that Remains.
After Partch's death in 1974, Mr. Mitchell continued to produce, manage and direct performances of Partch's music in San Diego, Los Angeles (1975), San Jose (1976), San Francisco (1977), Oakland (1983), Mills College (1985), Portland (1985), Seattle (1985), Phoenix, Aspen (1984),
New York City (1989), Berlin (1980), and Cologne (1980). In 1987 Partch's Revelation in the Courthouse Park was given its fully staged professional premier by the American Music Theater Festival in Philadelphia, artistically supervised and conducted by Mr. Mitchell. This production was staged as a concert version in 1989 in New York City. Mr. Mitchell is currently working with CRI to reissue Partch's Gate 5 recordings. He is a professor of music and director of percussion studies at San Diego University, where he teaches percussion, music theory, and world music.