Presented by Jazz Alive, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, Jazz Tales is a live YouTube broadcast. Your purchase of a stream pass supports our mission of providing educational support in developing future artists and preserving this great art form through school and community programs.
Hosted by pianist Fred Hughes, the show features performances and interviews with invited guests talking about their careers, musical influences, and interesting tales from their years in the music business.
March 10th Jazz Tales welcomed Trumpeter Dave Ballou
Born in Peace Dale, Rhode Island, Ballou was drawn to the trumpet at age 11 and quickly was excited by the sounds of jazz trumpeters Clifford Brown, Woody Shaw, Maynard Ferguson, Clark Terry, the Thad Jones Mel Lewis Orchestra as well as classical trumpeters John Willbraham and Bud Herseth. His early trumpet studies were with Rhode Island Philharmonic trumpeter Julio Tancredi. He began working gigs at the age of 16 playing society gigs in the mansions of Newport and Italian Festival parades in Providence, RI.
After brief study at the University of Rhode Island, Ballou attended the Berklee College of Music. There he studied with Herb Pomeroy, Greg Hopkins, Jimmy Mosher and Greg Fritze. Other teachers have been George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Hal Crook, Laurie Frink, Charles Schlueter, Jeff Stout and Paul Caputo. He earned a BM (magna cum laude) from Berklee College of Music in 1986 and tours with the big bands of Tommy Dorsey (led by Buddy Morrow) and Woody Herman (led by Frank Tiberi) followed studies at Berklee. He then attended the University of New Hampshire and received a Master of Art’s degree in 1992. At UNH he came under the direct influence of the jazz great, Clark Terry. Ballou worked many types of gigs in the Boston area during and after his studies at UNH. He was also a member of the bands Orange Then Blue, The Either/Orchestra, and worked closely with the late Gunther Schuller performing as soloist on the definitive recording of Journey into Jazz with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and as a featured soloist for the world premiere of Schuller’s Encounters.
In 1994, Dave moved to New York City. Seeking a community in which he could grow as an artist and be surrounded by like-minded musicians, he settled in Brooklyn and took part in the vibrant scene there. In NY he played Broadway shows, recording sessions and many jazz concerts with some of his heroes: Joe Lovano, Sheila Jordan, Tim Berne, Billy Hart, Dewey Redman, Michael Formanek and Dave Liebman. He was an orchestra member for the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of 42nd St. (2001-2004).
Ballou joined the faculty of Towson University in the fall of 2004. He became to coordinator of the Jazz and Commercial Music division in 2006 and has worked to reconnect the Jazz program with the community of musicians influenced by former TU music professor Hank Levy. Ballou has become recognized as an innovative pedagogue in the teaching of improvisation and composition. His students have become leaders of the improvised music scene in Baltimore.
Dave continues to perform with innovative improvisers and composers. This episode of Jazz Tales was not nearly long enough to explore Dave’s unique story.