Dave Douglas

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Dave DouglasDave Douglas has become one of the most original and prolific trumpeters/composers of his generation. His solo recording career began in 1993 with Parallel Worlds on the Soul Note label. Later that year he produced the Tiny Bell Trio's self-titled first recording, soon followed by a Sextet album, In Our Lifetime, a tribute to Booker Little, in 1994. These three releases brought him to international prominence and led to appearances on concert stages around the world. In the years since, Douglas has released twenty CDs featuring his working ensembles. He has been named trumpeter, composer, and jazz artist of the year by such organizations as the New York Jazz Awards, Down Beat, Jazz Times, Jazziz, and the Italian Jazz Critics' Society. He continues to compose and record in new contexts including El Trilogy, a collaboration with choreographer Trisha Brown which premiered at the American Dance Festival in June 2000, and the Cologne world premieres of his two pieces for orchestra in April 2002. Dave records for the RCA Bluebird label. His next release Strange Liberation, featuring guitarist Bill Frisell, will be released in early 2004.

Born March 24, 1963, in Montclair, New Jersey, Douglas grew up in the New York Metropolitan area. He started playing piano at age five and trombone at seven before discovering the trumpet two years later. He learned jazz and classical harmony in high school and began playing improvised music as an exchange student in Barcelona, Spain in 1978.
From 1981 to 1983, Douglas studied in Boston at the Berklee School of Music and the New England Conservatory; he cites Igor Stravinsky, John Coltrane, and Stevie Wonder as primary influences on his music. Moving to New York City in 1984, he attended New York University, studying trumpet with Carmine Caruso, and performed around the city with jazz, funk and experimental music groups. From 1987 to 1990 he toured internationally with, among others, Horace Silver, Vincent Herring, Tim Berne, Don Byron, Dr. Nerve, and the Bread and Puppet Theater. He began to record in earnest in the 1990s and his discography includes recordings on the Hat Art, Soul Note, New World, Arabesque, Songlines and Winter & Winter labels--he also maintains an important ongoing musical relationship as a member of John Zorn's Masada.Dave has appeared on recordings with artists such as Myra Melford, Anthony Braxton, Don Byron, Joe Lovano, Uri Caine, Cibo Matto, Sean Lennon, Fred Hersch, Mark Dresser, Han Bennink, Misha Mengelberg, and Patricia Barber.

As a composer, improviser, and trumpeter, Douglas is committed to developing music which extends the traditional language of jazz. With a strong background in jazz, he persistently questions the boundaries of genre and reexamines assumptions about music with each new project. The diversity of his influences are reflected in the music he writes for his own ensembles: Charms of the Night Sky, the Tiny Bell Trio, Parallel Worlds (the String Group), a jazz Quartet and Sextet, the electric octet Sanctuary, Witness, the Dave Douglas Quintet, as well as more recent projects exploring the meeting points of improvisation and electronic music. He is also fascinated by the connections of music to the visual arts, including dance, video and film.

Douglas has received fellowships for his work from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and more recently, Arts International, which helped finance a trip to India in 1998. Dave was recently commissioned by the Vooruit Culture Center in Ghent, Belgium to write music for the contemporary chamber music ensemble Ictus. The resulting 'Flemish Primitives' were performed in Ghent in March 2002. The New York based Extension Ensemble commissioned a brass quintet entitled 'Private Music' which premiered in 2001 and was recorded by the ensemble for an upcoming release. The Library of Congress supported the composition of 'Irrational Exuberance' in 1999, and the piece was performed at the Library's concert hall by Mark Feldman and Sylvie Courvoisier in October of that year. In November 1998, Dave took part in Southwest German Radio's "New Jazz Meeting," collaborating on pieces with Lebanese oud player Rabih Abou-Khalil and French clarinetist Louis Sclavis. Douglas has also toured as a guest with the Clusone Trio (Michael Moore, Ernst Reijseger, and Han Bennink), one of Holland's most exciting improvising ensembles.

Douglas' ensembles have toured widely since 1994, performing at major jazz and new music festivals in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria, France, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Finland and Estonia. Multi-day overviews of his music have been presented at the San Sebastian Jazz Festival, Groningen Jazz Marathon, Koeln Musik Triennale, Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the New York Jazz Festival. Among Douglas' most recent recordings are Leap of Faith , a quartet date on Arabesque Recordings, Soul on Soul: celebrating Mary Lou Williams, a Sextet recording for RCA, A Thousand Evenings , a second recording of the ensemble Charms of the Night Sky, and Witness, his large ensemble date featuring Tom Waits and Yuka Honda. The Infinite, Dave's most recent recording, features the debut of the Dave Douglas New Quintet with Uri Caine on fender rhodes, Chris Potter on tenor saxophone, James Genus on bass, and Clarence Penn on drums. The band toured the US extensively in April and May and recently appeared at the Village Vanguard in New York City. The touring will continue with two European tours (summer and fall of 2002) as well as a tour of Australia and New Zealand in the fall of 2002.

In addition to his work as a trumpeter, composer and bandleader leading a wave of innovative, ground breaking and socially and politically aware artists, Douglas is also a modern composer who defies categorization, and a sought after educator, giving master classes and workshops at universities and schools worldwide. He recently accepted the position as Artist in Residence at the Banff International Jazz Program, where he will teach from May 24 - June 12, 2004.



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