David Ake

Professor

Phone:
Address:
Frost North Studio Wing 5499 San Amaro Dr
Room 228
Coral Gables, Florida 33146

 
About

About Me

Quote

My primary goal as both a scholar and a teacher is to show how music reflects and shapes notions of individual and group identity. In other words—and to paraphrase the wonderful scholar Christopher Small—I explore how people use sound to explore, affirm, and celebrate who they are.  

Biography

David Ake is professor and chair of the Department of Musicology at the FROST SCHOOL OF MUSIC. In addition to overseeing the administrative workings of the department, Professor Ake teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on music history and occasionally coaches small jazz ensembles and teaches private lessons.

An award-winning scholar and educator in the fields of jazz and popular music, Ake authored the books Jazz Cultures; Jazz Matters: Sound, Place, and Time since Bebop; and the collection Jazz/Not Jazz: The Music and Its Boundaries (co-edited with Charles Hiroshi Garrett and Daniel Goldmark), all for the University of California Press. He also contributed chapters or articles to the Cambridge Companion to Jazz, American Music, Jazz Perspectives, and many other publications. He has delivered papers at the national meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, and the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, as well as keynote addresses to conferences in England and Canada, and guest lectures at universities across the US.

Professor Ake also remains active as a jazz pianist and composer. His most recent recordings as a leader are Bridges, which appeared on multiple Best-of-2013 lists, and Lake Effect (2015), both for the Posi-Tone label. He has performed or recorded alongside a host of renowned musicians, including Ralph Alessi, Scott Colley, Ravi Coltrane, Peter Epstein, Mark Ferber, Gerry Gibbs, Charlie Haden, Clifford Jarvis, Brian Landrus, Sam Minaie, James Newton, and Bud Shank. 

Prior to joining the FROST SCHOOL OF MUSIC, Professor Ake chaired the Department of Music at Case Western Reserve University, and was a longtime faculty member at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where he served as Director of the School of the Arts, among other leadership positions. Ake’s honors include the Nevada Regents’ Teaching Award and the Society for American Music’s Housewright Dissertation Award. He holds a Ph.D. in musicology and MA in ethnomusicology from UCLA, along with degrees in jazz performance from the California Institute of the Arts and the University of Miami.
Career

Honors & Acknowledgements

Professional Experience


Career Highlights

I have been very fortunate to participate in a wide range of musical activities alongside many creative and dedicated artists, colleagues, and students. That said, it is always exciting to see one’s work to fruition in a tangible way, so I would have to say the highlights of my career are the publications of my books and the releases of my recordings.


Select Honors, Awards & Competitions

  • Dean’s Award for Extraordinary Service to the College of Liberal Arts, UNR, 2013
  • Nevada System of Higher Education Regents Teaching Award (statewide), 2010
  • Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher of the Year, UNR (university wide), 2009
  • Mousel-Feltner Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity, UNR, 2002
  • Housewright Dissertation Award, Society for American Music, 2000.
  • First prize, Hennessey International Jazz Search, 1990
  • Semi-finalist, 1st Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, 1987

Books

  • Jazz Matters: Sound, Time, and Place Since Bebop (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010)
  • Jazz Cultures (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002)
  • Jazz/Not Jazz: The Music and its Boundaries, David Ake, Charles Hiroshi Garrett, Daniel Goldmark, editors (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012) 

Recordings

  • As a Leader:
  • Lake Effect (Posi-Tone Records, 2015)
  • Bridges (Posi-Tone Records, 2013)
  • In Between (solo piano) (2005, self-produced [reissued Posi-Tone Records, 2012])
  • Sound and Time (Posi-Tone Records, 1998)

With the Collective:

  • Once and Again (2008)
  • Balance (2005)
  • Boats (2003)
  • North (2000)

With EEA

  • The Dark (Origin Arts, 2010)

As a sideman:

  • Cedar Wisely, Chris Clark Quintet (Songlines, 2013)
  • Brian Landrus Project (2001)
  • With and Against, David Borgo Group (Resurgent, 1999)
  • Sun Sound, Phil Farris Quartet (Posi-Tone Records, 1996)
  • Double Faces, Harald Ruschenbaum Big Band (Swingtime Records [Munich], 1985)