Photo by Greg Toland 650-580-4462
Read what the critics are saying:
above all, an expressive soloist, one who shows that rare combination of
virtuosity and individualism which has always marked jazz's superior talents.
...In today's age of post-modernism, more and more people are beginning to
realize that the important question is not who is the most
"progressive" or the most "out there", but rather who is
saying the most in his or her chosen medium. ...the different artistic
disciplines can perhaps benefit from those in the new generation who can build
from the tradition and, in the words of poet Ezra Pound, "make it
new". In the world of jazz, Dave Bendigkeit is doing precisely that."
- Ted Gioia - Quartet Records
When trumpeter Dave Bendigkeit plays "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" (from "Thoughts of a Gentleman," the Dave Bendigkeit Quartet), his breathtaking lines are innovative and expressive and how they flow. Loaded with technical agility, while Bendigkeit can and does take any measure of a song and sail it out to speed — jazz, swing, rock or pop — the man pulls his listeners in, like sea to shore. Jean Bartlett (Correspondent to the Pacifica Tribune)
splendid trumpet player… masterful.” - Bob Martin (Peninsula-Times Tribune)
From Fans & Musicians - Thank you all for your kind words!
"Dave... You have a beautiful, warm, clear voice" - Clairdee
playing "When I Fall In Love" made my night. I should get a lesson
- from the great San Francisco trumpet player, Mike Olmos
"You are a legend of Bay Area jazz. I have admired your work for decades. Your group of great musicians bring such a gift to your audience!" - Bill Greene, Former Principle Trumpet with the Honolulu Symphony, and great lead jazz trumpet player.
“Dear Dave: I pushed play on "Waltz for B" and was instantly transported to a place I hadn't been to for a long time. It's an absolutely lovely place, but hard to find.” - Danny Hull
“Absolutely LOVE your music!” - Kerry T.
Playing and Writing Experience
Dave Bendigkeit has spent many years as a professional trumpet player and teacher of brass instrument playing and jazz improvisation.
Playing: From 1981 through present, Dave worked as sideman with: Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, George Shearing, Jack Jones, Ray Brown, Shelly Manne, Richie Cole, Grady Tate, Smith Dobson, James Brown, B.B. King, The Temptations, Gladys Knight & other Motown groups, Dick Bright Orchestra, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Bernadette Peters, Rosemary Clooney, Shirley MacLaine, Joel Grey, Anthony Newley, Lou Rawls, The Mills Brother, Johnny Mathis, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, San Jose Symphony, The Four Tops, Englebert Humperdink, The OJays, The Platters, The Lettermen, The Four Freshmen, the Dick Bright Orchestra, Broadway shows Les Miserables, Into The Woods, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof, and numerous other venues and acts. He was also active in the recording industry, releasing three albums: “Dave Bendigkeit - Looking Out”, jazz quartet, Jazz Mind Label – 1982, “Thoughts of a Gentleman”, jazz quartet, Quartet Label – 1987, and "Full Circle - Take One", jazz trio, Jazz Mind Label - 2006 and "In Your Living Room" with Denny Berthiaume - 2010. As the preeminent recording trumpet player in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980’s he could be heard on commercials for Macy’s, Nike, Gap and many others, along with record albums and, television and movie sound tracks for Charlie Brown, Garfield, Walker, Todd Rundgren, Zbra, Deep Voices, and Eddie Macon’s Run among others.
Listen to samples here:
Dave Bendigkeit CDs
Writing: Dave has published two music books: Getting Started in Jazz Improvisation, a CD and Instructional text in Concert, Bb, Eb, and Bass Clef (1987) and Jazz Improvisation for All Instruments (Instructional text) (1985). Dave wrote arrangements and compositions for the Dick Bright Orchestra, Foothill Community College, Meta-4 Movie Soundtrack Demo, Lucas Films (copywork), and hundreds of compositions for various Dave Bendigkeit groups since 1977.
Listen to Dave's writing (and playing) on: Meta-4
(Movie Soundrack Demo - ©1995) -Music: Dave Bendigkeit, Lyrics: Marty Perlmutter
Includes beautiful vocals by Clairdee!
Teaching: Taught hundreds of students in private lessons at music stores from 1978 - 1994. Stores were Milpitas Music in Milpitas, World of Music in Cupertino, Draper's Music in Palo Alto, Music Man in San Mateo, and Bronstein's Music in South San Francisco. As a teacher, Dave held positions at College of Marin where he taught Jazz Improvisation classes and was Director/Conductor of Community Concert Band from 1993 to 1995. He taught private lessons in Trumpet and Jazz Improvisation since 1977. He was a Bach Musical Instrument Company Trumpet Clinician from 1988 to 1994 and was featured at Seminars/ and as a clinician in Trumpet Playing and/or Jazz Improvisation at the Claude Gordon International Brass Camp from 1984 to 1988 and at the Stanford University for Jazz Camp, Sunnyvale and Palo Alto School Districts.
On Teaching Jazz Improvisation
It seems that nearly every beginning student of jazz improvisation is immediately overwhelmed with complicated theories. He or she thinks: "if only I could learn all of these rules, I would be able to play a jazz solo." Learning to improvise doesn't need to be that difficult and in reality, it isn't.
Jazz is an aural art. With this in mind, I approach teaching jazz initially as an exercise in training the mind to develop a large melodic and harmonic "vocabulary". As Joe Henderson once told me: "Jazz is a craft that you learn by doing." All of the great jazz artists began learning to improvise by the same method. They learned scales and chords and an appropriate amount of music theory, and they listened to and copied the music and styles of their favorite players. All I've done is to write out this method and teach it to my students. It's really not new or original. I just had the sense to write it down.
My main concern in teaching is to get the student to understand how to learn to improvise. Once that is understood, everything begins to fall into place. Of course, only you can add all of the necessary hours in the practice room!
On Teaching Brass Instrument Technique
I studied with Claude Gordon for about seven years. I combined this with study alongside great classical, commercial, and jazz players to develop an approach to brass playing based on sound physical principles along with exacting musical considerations. Years of studio recording work made me a trumpet player who did not miss notes - ever. Well, okay, once in a while... But I was accurate enough to be hired again and again, sometimes working 10 recording jobs in one week.
My goal is to help my students to be as exacting as I am in their approach to playing a brass instrument. This can be achieved through a systematic routine of practicing quality material and a constant focus on the purpose of playing which is to make great music.