John Daversa

John Daversa, a multi-Grammy winner, is an arranger, producer and bandleader. He also teaches at The Frost School of Music. Daversa is originally from Los Angeles. He grew up in musical homes. At the age of eleven, he began to play the trumpet and was passionate about listening, composition, singing, and playing various instruments. His family lived in Ada, Oklahoma and Las Vegas. He eventually returned to Los Angeles, where he attended Hamilton Academy of Music his last two years of highschool. He began writing music for small and large jazz ensembles while he was a Hamilton student. He also played the Electric Valve instrument (EVI) and performed regularly with his high school quartet Second Generation. For four years, he was a member the Monterey All-Star High School Big Band, performing alongside famous guest artists like Dizzy Gillespie and J.J. Johnson. After graduating high school, he received the Herb Alpert Award as well as the Italian Heritage Award. He soon began studying for a Bachelor’s degree in music composition and performance at UCLA. Daversa’s performance and composition skills grew throughout the 1990’s. He won the National Trumpet Competition and the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Soloist Competition. His various ensembles included the Junk Wagon Trio and The D.a.M. He also created the John Daversa Progressive Big Band (1996). The D.a.M. The D.a.M. Band released its eponymous record in 1994. Live at Catalina’sin 2000, the John Daversa Big Band recorded their eponymous album. Daversa was the musical director of Holiday On Ice, In Concert from 2000 to 2003. He performed on trumpet and electric bass, and would then return to the U.S. to perform with Glen Campbell and Andy Williams. After a string of international engagements, Daversa returned home to Los Angeles and refocused his efforts on higher education. He earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Jazz Studies from the California Institute of the Arts in 2006. In 2009, he earned the USC Jazz Studies Department Award and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Jazz Studies. He was an adjunct instructor at USC for two more years and was nominated for the Mellon Award for Excellence in Mentoring. He accepted a full-time job at California State University Northridge in 2011. The CSUN Jazz “A” Band won the Collegiate Division Award for Large Jazz Ensemble at Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival. It also received Downbeat Awards and California Allegiance for Jazz State Championship. Daversa also established the John Daversa Progressive Big Band and revived the John Daversa Small Band. Local jazz venues in Los Angeles offered monthly residencies. These included The Baked Potato and Blue Whale. These performances produced the material for Daversa’s albums Junk Wagon, The Big Band Album (2011) and Artful Joy (2012). Junk Wagon:The Big Band Album received the Global Music Award in Best in Show, Creativity and Originality. Daversa served as the musical director of Renee Olstead’s recording artist. He toured internationally during this time and appeared on various television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Late Nite with David Letterman. Daversa won an IAMA Songwriting Award for his songwriting. He also composed many commissions for universities and chamber music groups. Also, he was active in performing and/or recording with Fiona Apple and Dori Caymi. Daversa, the trumpet player, is behind Key and Peele’s comedy episode “Overly Competitve Trumpeters”. He has also played in various TV and film productions including King of Queens and The Five-Year Engagement. Daversa moved to Miami in 2013 and accepted the position of Chair of Jazz and Studio Music at Frost School of Music. Daversa was adamant about creating an environment that encourages creativity, imagination, collaboration, and free thinking. Daversa was awarded the Frost Award for Excellence In Teaching and Scholarship in 2020. Daversa has released several notable albums since moving to Miami. Kaleidoscope Eyes, Music of the Beatles received three Grammy nominations in 2017 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Best Arrangement Instrumental. American Dreamers: Voices of Hope and Music of Freedom received three Grammy Awards in 2019 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble (Best Arrangement Instrumental), Best Improvised Solo (Best Improvised Solo) and Best Large Jazz Ensemble (Best Large Jazz Ensemble). He musically directed and coproduced Shoulder to Shoulder, a Centennial Tribute to Women’s Suffrage in 2019. He musically directed, co-produced and performed on Regina Carter Freedom Band’sSwing States, Harmony in the Battleground in 2020. John Daversa Quintet also released Cuarentena. With Family at Home in the same year. This was an homage to familial love, the healing power music has through the muse, the bolero. It featured Miami-based musicians Sammy Figueroa, Sammy Figueroa, Carlo De Rosa and Dafnis Precieto. Daversa believes in creating music that is honest, meaningful, and positive. Daversa is a Schilke Music Artist and NuEVI artist. He is also a long-time Lakers fan. From

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