Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Daniel Rubio began studying piano at age seven. In third grade, he played drums in the school band and before finishing grammar school ended up playing trumpet, baritone and eventually the tuba - wherever there was a hole, he was asked to fill it. In high school, it was piano for the stage band and choir, tuba in the concert band and drums in the marching band. He also began to write arrangements for the bands and the choir. He played his first professional engagement at age sixteen on Bourbon Street at the Red Garter. There is no better place than New Orleans in which to grow up as a musician. Daniel then discovered a recording of tuba player, Rich Matteson, playing with Louis Armstrong and that is when the tuba, particularly jazz tuba, became his passion and what he is best known for in New Orleans and around the world.
After high school, Daniel enrolled in the Mannes College of Music in New York City. He began to work on Broadway as assistant to Buster Davis, a well known and highly respected vocal arranger and musical director ("No, No, Nanette", "Funny Girl", "Bells Are Ringing" and others). He then worked for the gifted film composer, Michael Kamen on the Broadway musical, "Reggae". That led to other work on Broadway. In New York, Daniel worked as an accompanist to Debbie Reynolds, Carol Channing, Ben Vereen, Gregory Hines and others.
Daniel studied in Rome, Italy with the late Italian film composer, Piero Umiliani. He studied with Jack Smalley, the ubiquitous TV and film orchestrator/conductor and also Eddy Davis, the New York jazz musician, composer and musical director. Daniel was drawn back to New Orleans by "The Dukes of Dixieland" to perform with them as tuba player and musical director.