David Ornette Cherry was born the same year Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry recorded their first album, SOMETHIN ELSE. The ambient music streaming through his childhood was generated by the early collaborations of his dad, Don, with Coleman and the musicians who visited his parents’ Mariposa Avenue home in Los Angeles.
However, it was a wood-chopping accident one summer in Sweden that sealed David’s musical fate. The accident rendered him incapacitated except for daily music lessons and practice on the piano. The scenario: his dad would teach something new every day, and return the next to listen to him play. At the end of the summer, he performed his first gig at Gothenburg, Sweden with Don and Turkish percussionist, Okay Temiz. David was sixteen years old.
Later studying music composition at Bishop College in Dallas and concentrating on “world music” at California Institute of the Arts, David spent challenging and unforgettable summers attending the Creative Music Studio at Woodstock, New York. These summer experiences gave him the space to compose and create music with Trilock Gurtu, Olatunji, Jai Deva, and Foday Musa Suso and to explore the relationship of jazz and music from other cultures. While jazz remains both the root and sustenance of his sound, he often incorporates the sounds of the world in what he calls “multi-kulti” music.
His background includes performances with Don Cherry, Ed Blackwell, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins, Nana Vasconcelos, Olatunji, Carlos Ward, Jim Pepper, Collin Walcott, Wadada Leo Smith, and Justo Almario.
David forges ahead with his own invigoratingly fresh sound punctuated by driving rhythms and memorable lines. The fluidity of his compositions leave just the right amount of improvisational space not grounding his soloists in mid-flight or holding back the vitality of their contribution. Cherry massages the line, stirs it, adds the last spice, lets it simmer and serves it up with satisfaction.
He sees himself crossing borders drawing from the past - building a passageway to jazz of the future. David states, “The music never stopped. Jazz is dynamic. It is a continuum that expands and takes from the players and composers so they can add their little something to the art. It’s not about JUST referencing the past. It’s about keeping the momentum going like a ball that keeps rolling along.”
He further states, “My compositions are a musical fusion of cultures laid firmly down on a foundation of purely garage-style beats. It’s a union of textures, sounds, lifestyles, surroundings, and messages in a universal language emphasizing a positive state of mind.”
Keyboards, melodica and wood flute are his instruments.
Future plans include: “creating a musical intensity which invigorates and sets trends in jazz of the future, passing the torch to take the music beyond...to become another color in the ever-expanding sound spectrum.”
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