Anyone acquainted with David Friesen's exceptional music quickly thinks of his creative universe. Ocean-deep in his sensitivity to the human spirit, Friesen is compassionate and his music founded on integrity and the pursuit of excellence.
Born in Tacoma, Washington May 6, 1942, he was raised in Seattle, though his first exposure to jazz music was at the age of 5 years in Spokane, Washington hearing in his home a friend of his sister Diane playing Boogie Woogie on his family’s upright piano. After this individual left the home, David went to the piano and tried to emulate what he had just heard…thus his musical career had just begun. His sister Diane played the piano and for many years growing up, together they would play four handed piano and spent many evenings playing the piano and singing. His parents Ben and Clara Friesen were not professional musicians, but his mother had played C Melody saxophone as a child and his father had a beautiful singing voice...especially at church David could hear his father’s beautiful voice harmonizing with the congregation when they would sing hymns. Far removed from the music world, His mother was a professional bowler and his father was a Life Insurance executive. However, both his parents supported his love for music and made it possible for David to explore music on many different instruments. His sister Diane’s love for the movies and acting as a child, eventually led her into a very successful career as an actress, her name known as Dyan Cannon .
David began playing the ukulele and the accordion at 10, and a guitar professionally at 16.Friesen's first exposure to jazz was Slim Gaillard in an L.A. club when he was underage and playing guitar.
At 19, while stationed with the U.S. Army in Paris, he sat in with George Arvanitas, Johnny Griffin and Art Taylor. Then, in Copenhagen, he gigged with drummer Dick Berk and met Ted Curson in 1961. Back in the U.S., he became committed to the bass in 1964, practicing about ten hours a day. He was jamming in Seattle with local musicians - Larry Coryell and Randy Brecker were among his young compatriots - at such places as the Penthouse, where Miles, Coltrane and Bill Evans would perform; David would play opposite them and occasionally sat in with the visiting giants. Also, for two years Friesen played piano and bass at a coffee house called the Llahngaelhyn owned by bassist Jerry Heldman.