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About Dave

 

Dave lives with his wife Pamela in Matunuck , RI. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and worked as a mechanical engineer in the industrial valve industry for 30 years.  Dave developed several innovative valves while working at Crosby Valve in Wrentham, MA including the Series 800, 900 and Series BP.  Dave is an active trombonist in the CT/RI/MA area.  Dave also gives private trombone lessons and repairs trombones in his workshop in Matunuck, RI.   

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 Charlestown , RI .  “I played in the Coastline Swing Band for 10 years. We played twice a month in local restaurants and many other gigs during the year.  The band was featured at the Charlestown Seafood Festival for several years. In 1996 I started playing in the Dick Campo big band located in the New London area."  Over the next several years Dave would play in several other CT based bands including the Jim Stewart Orchestra and the Vic Elci Orchestra.  Jim Stewart has a new band "Jump Swing Fever Orchestra".

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 Gary’s band and second trombone chair was open.  I was also playing with a 7 piece blues band so this was a very active period for me.”  Dave was also a member of the “Mike Lyons Blue Moon Orchestra” located in Lincoln , RI.  Dave can be heard as a soloist on the band’s CD “Almost There”.  Dave also played in a short lived quartet called “Sofa” where he started to play the electric trombone.  “The band was put together to play one gig but I still play the electric trombone

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 make improvements."   

Early in the 2000's Dave started to repair trombones.  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  NAPBIRT Trombone Repair School (there really is such a thing). We spent 5 days on all sorts of trombone repairs.  I continuously buy, repair and sell trombones.  I have shipped horns all over the US and to Europe and Asia."  

Early Influences

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".