David F. Gordon is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and the youngest of 5 children now residing in Dover, New Jersey. "Dave" to his friends and family comes from a family of musicians. A Trumpet and Flugelhorn player, he has toured the world and recorded with many well-known artists including Illinois Jacquet, Tony Bennett, the Sun Ra Arkestra, NRBQ, Terry Adams, Tyrone Hill and the Deep Space Posse, Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, the Dave Murray Big Band. Dave has worked for Albert King, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.
Dave recalls that growing up in his family, just about everyone played an instrument. His father was a military man that played tenor saxophone. He performed in clubs and befriended Cab Calloway and Pearl Bailey. These connections helped to cast his sister in a stage production of Porgy and Bess.
Dave's cousin, Oliver J. Lemmie, played trumpet in the special service for President Eisenhower, and became a profound influence throughout David's life.
David's father passed away in 1967, leaving a young Dave to fend for himself and help to provide for his family. Dave became a "man in a man's world". At the age of 11, he played music to gain money to support himself and his mother. Dave recalls, "We were poor, but not in spirit. I had a lot of energy then." He was placed in an after school workshop where he cultivated a love of music.
At the age of 12, a man named Joe Glickman mentored Dave, encouraging him to reach beyond the limitations of his circumstances, and to play Jazz music on a professional level. His talent blossomed, along with his passion for music. He aspired to play on a level equal to Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.
With the help of Joe Glickman, 17 year old Dave left St. Louis to play with Albert King. Today Dave considers himself to be a success story and also the product of Jazz workshop mentoring. "I come from Meacham Park, a place where a lot of people don't make it out alive."
For this reason, Dave offers his own Jazz workshop. Its purpose is to expose motivated and interested young musicians to the same love and understanding he received when he was a child.
Dave has studied with Dr. Donald Byrd at the Jazz Mobile in Harlem, and later with Professor Fielder at Rutgers University, always striving to reach new frontiers in music. Dave was awarded a scholarship to attend the music program at Northland College. He transferred to the University of Superiorâ€“Wisconsin, and was awarded First Place in the renowned Eau-Claire Jazz Festival. â€œI have conducted Jazz workshop for students in New York, New Jersey and in Shanghai, China.
Dave has been compared to artists like Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, Dave says. "Every day we should create something new. Music is a gift that God gave to us!
David has performed around the world, in places like the Melting Pot in Shanghai, London's Jazz Cafe, and literally subways of New York City in a program called "Music Under New York". Other venues include the House of Blues, the Cotton Club, and the Chinese Moon Festival. While in China, Dave also performed at M on the Bun with Dr. Dwight Dickerson and Sonja Kates. He also made several guest appearances at CJW's (a well known club in China).
Dave also performed with The Scorpions of the New Germany and Paul Rogers of Bad Company at an Elvis Presley tribute concert, in Memphis, TN. They also performed at the House of Blues, and Wolf Trap.
Dave was invited to perform at the 20th Black Roots Festival, the Texaco Jazz Festival, and several other prestigious events. He headlined with the Zane Massey band for the Carnevale di Venezia, in Venice, Italy. he has performed at Radio City Music Hall during the Grammy Awards. In 2010, Dave performed with Beyonce's drummer, Kim Thomson, at Forest park in St.louis MO.
Dave has recorded and independently produced 4 CD's on his own label I Am Syntrump (IAS), as a soloist including: Time Is The Answer (1990), Live in Scotland (2000), Dave Gordon.... The Fruit of Life, LOVE (2002), Jazz for God , and Kool, So Kool (2011). David's music is available for purchase on bandcamp.com.
Today, he composes and records his own music, dedicating the title track from latest album, "Kool, So Kool" to those who continue to study in the face of adversity, and neighborhood violence.