Born in Baltimore, United States, Douglas Purviance began his professional career as a member of the Stan Kenton Orchestra, playing bass trombone and tuba from 1975 to 1977. He largely works as a studio session bass trombonist, and is not known for improvising. He graduated from Towson State University in 1975 and obtained a masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music in 1992. He settled in New York City in 1977, playing a variety of commercial and jazz trombone jobs, and eventually claiming a chair in the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, now the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He was also a charter member of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and has toured extensively with Slide Hampton, Steve Turre, Dizzy Gillespie, and the Mingus Big Band, among others. He appears as an incidental player on hundreds of recordings, notably on Grammy-nominated efforts with Joe Henderson, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, but also in many other groups. On February 8, 2009, he co-won a Grammy as a producer of the CD and also a player in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category for Monday Night Live At The Village Vanguard.
- Kanzler, George (October 4, 2009). "Dizzy Gillespie: I'm Beboppin Too & The Cool World". All About Jazz. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
- Hunter, J (August 6, 2008). "Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard". All About Jazz. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
- Levine, Dena (February 19, 2009). "Douglas Purviance, Music Program Faculty, Wins Grammy Award". Seton Hall University. Retrieved January 22, 2013.