Dave Douglas is a prolific trumpeter, composer, educator and entrepreneur from New York City known for the stylistic breadth of his work and for keeping a diverse set of ensembles and projects active simultaneously.
His unique contributions to improvised music have garnered distinguished recognition, including a Doris Duke Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Aaron Copland award, and two Grammy Award nominations. Douglas' career spans more than 60 unique original recordings as a leader and more than 500 published works. His current ensembles include: Dave Douglas Quintet; Sound Prints, a quintet co-led with saxophonist Joe Lovano; OVERCOME, an ensemble featuring vocalists Fay Victor and Camila Meza, as well as Ryan Keberle, Jorge Roeder, and Rudy Royston; 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; ENGAGE, a sextet with Jeff Parker, Tomeka Reid, Anna Webber, Nick Dunston, and Kate Gentile; Marching Music, a quartet featuring Rafiq Bhatia, Melvin Gibbs, and Sim Cain; Dizzy Atmosphere: Dizzy Gillespie in Zero Gravity featuring Dave Adewumi, Matthew Stevens, Fabian Almazan, Carmen Rothwell, and Joey Baron. Douglas is often engaged in special projects which include big bands, tributes, and multi-trumpet ensembles, such as Dizzy Atmosphere.
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. The American chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound recently premiered his piece Facts and Fictions. 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 17th anniversary in 2020. He is currently on the faculty at Mannes School of Music and The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. He was the Artistic Director of the Bergamo Jazz Festival for four years ending in 2019.
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 80 releases and celebrated its fifteenth year in 2020. In addition to hosting a podcast featuring engaging interviews with more than 80 creative artists, Greenleaf Music recently joined Bandcamp for Labels and is a pioneering independent music platform with a strong subscription model featuring hours of exclusive content.
His unique contributions to improvised music have garnered distinguished recognition, including: a Doris Duke Artist Award (2016), an Aaron Copland award (2010), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2005), and two Grammy Award nominations for Best Instrumental Jazz Album by an Individual or Group (The Infinite, 2002) and Best Contemporary Jazz Album (Keystone, 2005).
He has received fellowships supporting his compositional work from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, Mid Atlantic Arts, Meet the Composer, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Arts International, the Vooruit Culture Center, Stanford University and the Library of Congress.
Additional Awards (Selected):
Jazz Artist of the year, DownBeat Critics Poll, 2000
Composer of the Year, DownBeat Critics Poll
- 2000, 2001, 2002
Trumpet Player of the Year, DownBeat Critics Poll
- 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013
Composer of the Year, DownBeat Critics Poll
- 2001, 2002
Trumpet Player of the Year, Jazz Journalists Association Awards
- 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Rising Star-Producer, DownBeat Critics Poll, 2015
Musician of the Year, Italian Jazz Critics Society, 2001
Personality of the Festival, International Cork Jazz Festival, Guinness Jazz Festival, 2001
"Dave Douglas is the unassuming king of independent jazz, a model of do-it-yourself moxie, initiative and artistic
freedom." Frank Alkyer, Publisher, Down Beat