Guitarist and Composer Dave Allen was first recognized by Guitar Player Magazine as a talent to watch at 16 years old. He has been praised by critics as An exciting and unique player in the mold of Pat Metheny, Ben Monder and Adam Rogers. Monster chops, harmonic resourcefulness, strong melodic sense, considerable compositional talent . (Lyle Robinson of Jazz Guitar Life)
Born in Philadelphia, Allen began performing and composing at the age of 15. After discovering the music of John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Keith Jarrett, he moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Jack Wilkins, John Abercrombie and David Liebman. Over the next twenty years Allen performed with many of the most respected musicians in jazz today, including Mark Turner, Miguel Zenon, Joey Baron, Ravi Coltrane, Dave Binney, Jeff Ballard, Seamus Blake, Donny McCaslin, Marcus Gilmore, and many others. He has released two critically acclaimed recordings (Untold Stories and Real and Imagined) and has been written about in the New York Times, Downbeat Magazine and Jazz Times Magazine. He has toured with his own projects and as a sideman throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.
As a composer, Allen is known for his challenging writing and his use of rhythmic layering and dense harmonies. He is also deeply influenced and inspired by modern painting, poetry and cinema. He has composed works based on the paintings of Willem de Kooning, the poetry of Wallace Stevens, and the films of Stan Brakage. In 2015 Allen was commisoned to compose a suite for string quartet for the Klasik Keyifler music organization in Istanbul. The work, “Thrown Voices”, was performed in Cappadocia, Istanbul, Berlin and New York. He has recently made a new recording with his quintet which will be released later in 2018.