TITLE: Jazz Program Director
PHOTO: ellis
PHONE EXTENSION: 510-873-8800 X8443

A product of the legendary Berkeley Jazz program developed by Phil Hardymon, Dave became a star member of the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble and spent his summers making music under the redwoods at Cazadero Music camp. Dave continued his music education at Berklee College of Music in Boston, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Music Production and Engineering & Tenor Saxophone. Returning home to the Bay Area in 1992.

Dave quickly became a well-known figure on the Bay Area jazz scene where he was a founding member of the Charlie Hunter Trio, with their debut CD produced by Les Claypool (Primus), and two recordings for Blue Note Records. In 1996, Dave released his debut CD as a leader for Monarch Records, Raven. Dave’s follow up CD’s, In The Long Run (1998-Monarch) and State Of Mind (2003-Milestone) were produced by legendary jazz producer Orin Keepnews. All three recordings received the California Music Awards’ Best Jazz Album honor. Dave was also voted 2nd in the JAZZIZ readers poll in 1997 for Best New Artist behind Diana Krall, and Best Jazz Artist (1999) by the California Music Awards.

Dave has since performed, recorded and toured - nationally and internationally - with a diverse group of world renowned artists and groups including Kenny Barron, The Black Crowes, The Grateful Dead, Nneena Freelon, Bruce Hornsby, Phil Lesh, Christian McBride, Mulgrew Miller, Donny Osmond, Bonnie Raitt, Patrice Rushen, Boz Scaggs and Bob Weir. In addition, Dave produced and/or engineered several CDs including his vocalist sister Zoe Ellis’ debut CD Live At Anna’s Jazz Island (2007).

Dave has always been interested in helping the next generation of players succeed. He performed and taught in the San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures In Music program; instructed both recording and Jazz Ensemble courses at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley; served as a clinician, master class instructor and adjudicator for Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation High School Jazz Competition. He has coached Jazz Ensembles and combos, taught saxophone, music theory, ear training and musicianship for Berkeley High School, Albany High School, Longfellow Middle School, Jazz Camp West, UC Berkeley’s Young Musicians Program, and Stanford Jazz Workshop. He continues to teach privately, and to perform regularly in the greater Bay Area.

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