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Norman David

One of the top composers and bandleaders on the scene.

About Me

Norman David directs, plays with and composes the music for his ensemble, The Eleventet. For almost 20 years beginning in the early 1980s, David led versions of the Eleventet in Boston, central Maine, and NYC. Among the musicians who have played with the band are George Garzone, Dick Oatts, Tim Hagans, John Fedchock, John Swana, Seamus Blake, and Terell Stafford. In early 2001, David debuted the first Philadelphia version of The Eleventet and in mid-2007, he established an ongoing Philadelphia roster of players, comprised of the cream of that city's jazz artists. The Eleventet is featured exclusively throughout the year at Plays and Players Theater, one of Philadelphia's venerable venues for theater and creative arts. Additionally, the band performs at other notable locales and events in the region.

David is a prolific composer and arranger, soprano saxophonist, author and music educator. As leader/composer or sideman in the U.S., Canada and Europe, he has appeared with numerous jazz luminaries and all-star ensembles. He has been awarded grants in recognition of his jazz composing from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Composers Forum. He also enjoys success as a composer of art music, his works having been commissioned and/or premiered by the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West, the Temple University Wind Symphony, Alea III, The Network For New Music, and Charles Abramovic.

David’s text book, Jazz Arranging (Scarecrow Press), continues to have a wide readership and to be adopted for course work at many colleges and universities. His second book, The Ella Fitzgerald Companion (Praeger Publishers), an examination of the development and artistry of that great American singer, has received consistently favorable reviews and is on the shelves of hundreds of academic and public libraries in the U.S. and abroad.

Norman David is currently the Coordinator of Jazz Composition and Arranging at Temple University. He has previously taught at Berklee College of Music, University of the Arts, Colby College, Franklin & Marshall College, Ursinus College, and the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from Temple University, a Master of Music in Composition from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University. In addition, he completed advanced studies in composition, arranging and saxophone at Berklee College of Music.

My Jazz Story

I was first exposed to jazz by my mom when I was around 11 years old. The best show I ever attended was: among others shows, all 5 nights of an appearance by Eddie Harris at the Esquire Show Bar in Montreal in the early 1970s. My advice to new listeners: Don't stop, it's good for you. It's all about the treatment of melody and the control of dissonance.

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