Dave Douglas (born March 24, 1963) is a prolific trumpeter, composer, and educator from New York City known for the stylistic breadth of his work, the lyricism and wide-ranging curiosity of his music, and for keeping a diverse set of ensembles and projects active simultaneously.
His unique contributions to jazz and improvised music have garnered distinguished recognition, including a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Aaron Copland award, and two Grammy Award nominations. Douglas’ career spans more than 50 unique original recordings as a leader and more than 500 published compositions. His current ensembles include: Dave Douglas Quintet; Sound Prints, a quintet co-led with saxophonist Joe Lovano; UPLIFT, a sextet including bassist Bill Laswell; Present Joys, a longstanding duo with pianist Uri Caine which recently added Andrew Cyrille as third member for a 2019 recording; High Risk, an electronic ensemble with Shigeto, Jonathan Maron, and Ian Chang; and the latest project, ENGAGE, a sextet with Jeff Parker, Tomeka Reid, Anna Webber, Nick Dunston, and Kate Gentile. Douglas is often engaged in special projects and residencies which include big bands, tributes, and multi-trumpet ensembles, such as Dizzy Atmosphere.
“Dave Douglas is the unassuming king of independent jazz, a model of do-it-yourself moxie, initiative and artistic freedom.”
As a composer, Douglas has received commissions from a variety of organizations including the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Essen Philharmonie, The Library of Congress, Stanford University and Monash Art Ensemble, which premiered his chamber orchestra piece Fabliaux in March 2014. He is currently completing a new work for the chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound, which will premiere in May 2019.
Douglas has held several posts as an educator and programmer. From 2002 to 2012, he served as artistic director of the Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Centre in Canada. He is a co-founder and president of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which celebrated its fifteenth anniversary in 2017. He is currently on the faculty at the Mannes School of Music and is a Guest Coach for the Juilliard Jazz Composer’s Ensemble. In 2016, he accepted a four-year appointment as the Artistic Director of the Bergamo Jazz Festival.
In 2005 Douglas founded Greenleaf Music, an umbrella company for his recordings, sheet music, podcast, as well as the music of other artists in the modern jazz idiom. Greenleaf Music has produced over 70 releases and will be celebrating its fifteenth anniversary in 2020.