Norman David

Norman David

Musicians | Instrument: Saxophone, soprano | Location: Philadelphia

David writes beautifully, with a unique... voice in the field of modern jazz composition... [He] plays fierce soprano saxophone, holding up strong next to Dick Oatts, George Garzone and other world-class players.
—David Adler

Updated: May 28, 2022

Born: September 24

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, Terell Stafford, Joe Magnarelli, and John Hébert.

In 2000, David debuted the first Philadelphia version of The Eleventet and in mid-2007, he finalized 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 the creative arts. Additionally, the band performs at other notable locales and events in the region.

Norman David, a veteran of the music scenes in Boston and Philadelphia, 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, as well as with various 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 continues to enjoy 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 Artist-in-Residence and the Coordinator of Jazz Composition and Arranging at Temple University. He has previously taught at Berklee College of Music, Colby College, University of the Arts, Franklin & Marshall College, Ursinus College, and the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts. He earned 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 arranging and saxophone at Berklee College of Music.


American Composers Forum Subito Grant

National Endowment for the Arts: Fellowship Grant in Jazz Composition

University of the Arts Faculty Enrichment Grants


VICTOR L. SCHERMER - ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM "...reed player Norman of the most innovative arrangers in the business."

DAVID ADLER - PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY "David writes beautifully, with a unique...voice in the field of modern jazz composition.... [He] plays fierce soprano saxophone, holding up strong next to Dick Oatts, George Garzone and other world-class players."

RJ JOHNSON - WWW.ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM "With a seemingly endless repertoire, the band provides a unique experience...It was obvious that David's musical palette extends far beyond the realm of jazz....His style relied on the versatility of the band and ultimately allowed a more natural sound to emerge.... [The] Eleventet is one of the city's best-known jazz groups, featuring some of Philadelphia's best soloists...Each musician was well-versed in the jazz tradition and a conventional smaller group setting where the freedom to explore new musical territory was uninhibited. What made the group unique was that none of this was lost simply because there were eleven players instead of three or four. Few groups have as much fun as The Eleventet appears to, at each and every show."

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone, soprano



Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


Coordinator of Jazz Composition & Arranging - Temple University: Arranging, Composition, Graduate Arranging, Graduate Jazz History, Ensembles

Adjunct Associate Professor - University of the Arts: Studio Composition, Orchestration, Jazz History, Theory, Ensembles

Contact Norman David for information and to arrange private instruction—online and in person.

Clinic/Workshop Information

Arranging / Composition: Author of the highly-rated Jazz Arranging (Scarecrow Press)

Masterclasses/Clinics on arranging and composition, high school to college and advanced.

Speaking Engagements / Guest Lectures: Author of The Ella Fitzgerald Companion (Praeger Publishers)

"Ella Fitzgerald and the Evolution of Jazz Singing"

Tuesday Overture

From: At This Time
By Norman David