Dave lives with his wife Pamela in
In 1990 Dave started to play trombone again after a 20 year absence. “When I stopped playing after high school I didn’t think that it would take me all those years to get back into playing. I picked up the horn a few times during those years but other things in life just kept coming up. I finally made the decision to commit to practicing every day. I was working as an engineer during the day with a 60 mile commute each way. I used to practice during my lunch break in my car parked at the “Big Apple” farm stand in Wrentham, MA.”
In 1993 Dave join the New Era Jazz band and shortly afterwards
the Coastline Swing Band located in
In the mid 2000’s Dave started to play in a couple of RI
based bands. Gary Sugal had started
a big band that played a lot of gigs at the casinos. “I
was playing mostly in the CT bands and thought that this would be a great way to
meet some RI musicians. I had met Gary
back in 1993 when we were both in the New Era Jazz band.
There were a lot of good players in
Dave started giving private trombone lessons in 2004.
“I was asked by a high school band director if I would give lessons to
one of his band students." Since then
Dave has had students from several RI school systems as well adult students of all
ages. Most of my students stay with me for
a long time. I try to get them to enjoy the whole process of playing the
trombone. I give them concrete reasons to practice certain things a
certain way. I listen carefully to how they play so that I can help them
Early in the 2000's Dave started to repair
He is a member of NAPBIRT and attended their trombone repair school.
“I started by buying
trombones on eBay. Most of these instruments needed repair work. After a
few expensive repairs bills I started to buy the tools that I needed to repair
my own. I learnt a lot at the
Dave’s earliest musical influence was his uncle, Sammy Sherman. As a youngster Dave often saw Sammy in his AMVET’s dress uniform…trombone in hand. By the age of 10, Dave was taking weekly lessons from his uncle. "Sammy taught me every Sunday morning in between driving his own children to and from religious school.
Another early influence on Dave was jazz guitarist, Alvin Pulley. "I first heard Alvin when I was about 8 years old. It was at a wedding reception in Woonsocket, RI. I remember thinking that Alvin’s playing was the most beautiful music that I had heard.
Dave played in the Woonsocket Jr. and Sr.. High School bands under the direction of Larry Bernard and Alfred Lague. In high school, Dave was greatly influenced by Larry Bernard, a great bandleader and jazz saxophonist, and also by Jim Castaldi. "Jim Castaldi was just starting his teaching career and was a major influence on several of us. He had just graduated from Berklee and was someone that we could easily relate to."
While attending college in Boston during the late 60s and early 70s, Dave was exposed to a lot of different types of music, but his main interest was jazz. "I heard Stan Getz when I was a senior in high school and I was hooked on jazz from that moment." Dave, and a fellow trombonist and classmate from high school, Don Brouillette, hitchhiked to Rhode Island College for the concert. "I had never heard of Stan Getz before, but I wouldn’t admit it to Don."
In college Dave started collecting jazz albums, as well as seeking out clubs that offered live jazz. During his time in Boston he was fortunate enough to hear Betty Carter, George Russell, Charles Mingus, Cannonball Adderley, Chicago Transit Authority, B.B. King, and Maynard Ferguson.. "In my freshman year I went to the Boston Globe Jazz Festival. On the bill was Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan, Roland Kirk, Alan Dawson and Frank Zappa."
Dave was enrolled at Northeastern majoring in engineering, and wasn’t playing the trombone much during his college days. "I did manage to take some lessons with John Coffey who was the bass trombonist with the BSO." Dave spent a lot of time listening to jazz records - many times withh his uncle. "I would shop the bargain bins and drop in to share my treasures with Sammy. We listened to everything from Albert Mangelsdorff to Frank Zappa. Very few of my friends were listening to much jazz so my visits with Sam were something special."
Another influence on Dave was Fred Grady. Grady had a jazz program on WXTR out of Pawtucket, RI. Grady’s nightly radio program introduced a whole generation to the world of jazz. His theme song, "My Buddy" by Buddy Bregman, is on an out-of-print album called "Swingin’ Standards".