Two-time Grammy-nominated trumpeter Dave Douglas has earned national and international acclaim, including trumpeter, composer, and jazz “Artist of the Year” by such organizations as the New York Jazz Awards, DownBeat, JazzTimes, and Jazziz. His solo recording career began in 1993 with Parallel World and he has since released twenty-two CDs. In 2005 he launched his own label, Greenleaf Music. He was also honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship that same year. His current release, Meaning and Mystery, features his working quintet of Uri Caine, James Genus, Clarence Penn, and Donny McCaslin.
For the past half decade Dave Douglas has repeatedly been named trumpeter, composer, and jazz artist of the year by such organizations as the New York Jazz Awards, DownBeat, Jazz Times, Jazziz, and the Italian Jazz Critics' Society.
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 artists such as 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.
Douglas has received fellowships for his work from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and 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' McKim Fund supported the composition of Irrational Exuberance in 1999, and the piece was performed at the Library's Coolidge Auditorium 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' own 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, Estonia, Australia and New Zealand.
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 sought after educator. He has given master classes and workshops at universities and schools worldwide, including Harvard College, University of North Texas, Eastman College, and New York University. Douglas recently accepted the position as Artistic Director at the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, where he will direct the faculty and programming from May 23 - June 11, 2005.