David Weiss (musician)

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David Weiss
David Weiss Nice 2016.JPG
David Weiss, The Cookers at Nice, 2016
Background information
Born (1964-10-21) October 21, 1964 (age 54)
New York City
Years active1986–present
LabelsMotéma, Sunnyside, Fresh Sound
Associated actsThe New Jazz Composers Octet, The Cookers

David Weiss (born October 21, 1964 in New York City) is a jazz trumpeter and the founder of The New Jazz Composers Octet, a group dedicated to innovation in jazz.[1]


He studied music at North Texas State University, graduating in 1986. Returning to New York, he performed with Jaki Byard, Frank Foster, and Jimmy Heath. He continued his studies with trumpeters Tommy Turrentine and Bill Hardman, as well as attending Barry Harris's jazz classes. Eventually leading an "after hours" session for Harris, he performed with such musicians as Stephen Scott, Winard Harper, Leon Parker, Sam Newsome, Justin Robinson, Rodney Kendrick, Roy Hargrove, Clifford Jordan, Mulgrew Miller, Jeff Watts, Terence Blanchard, Benny Green, and Billy Hart.

In 1990, Weiss started a band with tenor saxophonist Craig Handy. The rest of the band rotated: Benny Green, Stephen Scott, or Dave Kikoski on piano, Christian McBride on bass, and Billy Hart or Jeff Watts on drums. Weiss assisted Handy with the music of The Cosby Mysteries, including arranging the title theme. From there, he began arranging for such artists as Abbey Lincoln, Freddie Hubbard, and Rodney Kendrick, Alto Legacy with Phil Woods, Vincent Herring, and Antonio Hart. He arranged an album called Haunted Melodies in tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk, as well as tribute concerts at Birdland for Freddie Hubbard, Booker Little, and Lee Morgan.

Recognizing a dearth of new jazz composition, Weiss founded The New Jazz Composers Octet, which Ben Ratliff of The New York Times immediately hailed as "the sound of the new jazz mainstream."[2] Weiss's compositions on the Octet's second album won him grants from Chamber Music America and Doris Duke Jazz Ensembles Project: New Works Creation and Presentation.

Weiss released his first album as leader, Breathing Room, in 2002, featuring Craig Handy, Xavier Davis, Dwayne Burno, Marcus Strickland, and E. J. Strickland, some of whom are involved with the Octet. It received four star ratings from Down Beat magazine, JazzWise, and 52nd Street.


As leader[edit]

  • Breathing Room (Fresh Sound, 2002)
  • The Mirror (Fresh Sound, 2004)
  • When Words Fail (Motéma, 2014)

with The New Jazz Composers Octet

  • First Steps into Realty (Fresh Sound, 1998)
  • New Colors, Freddie Hubbard (Hip Bop, 2001)
  • Walkin' the Line (Fresh Sound, 2003)
  • On the Real Side, Freddie Hubbard (Times Square, 2008)
  • The Turning Gate (Motéma, 2008)

with Point of Departure

  • Snuck In (Sunnyside, 2010)
  • Snuck Out (Sunnyside, 2011)
  • Venture Inward (recorded 2008; Posi-Tone, 2013)
  • Wake Up Call (Ropeadope Records, 2017)

with Endangered Species

  • The Music of Wayne Shorter (Live at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola) (2013)

As sideman[edit]

With Tim Hagans & Marcus Printup

  • Hubsongs – The Music of Freddie Hubbard (Blue Note, 1998) arrangements only

With The Cookers

  • Cast the First Stone (Plus Lion, 2010)
  • Warriors (Jazz Legacy, 2011)
  • Time and Time Again (Motéma, 2014)
  • The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart (Smoke Sessions, 2016)


External links[edit]