David Liebman's career has spanned nearly four decades, beginning in the 1970s as the saxophone/flautist in both the Elvin Jones and Miles Davis Groups. He has played on nearly three hundred recordings with over one hundred under his leadership or co-leadership. In jazz education he is a renowned lecturer and author of several milestone books: Self Portrait Of A Jazz Artist, A Chromatic Approach To Jazz Harmony And Melody, Developing A Personal Saxophone Sound which have been translated into other languages, in addition to teaching DVDs, contributions to various periodicals and published chamber music.
He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) existing since 1989. Awards include two National Endowment grants; an Honorary Doctorate from the Sibelius Academy (1997); Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Solo (1998) and Best Big Band Arrangement (performance-2004); induction into the International Association of Jazz Educators Hall of Fame (2000); Pennsylvania Council of the Arts grant in 2005; Jazz Journalist's Award for soprano sax in 2007. He currently teaches in the Graduate Division at the Manhattan School of Music. He has consistently placed in the top three for soprano saxophone in the Downbeat Critic's Poll since 1973.