John A Daversa

Associate Professor

Phone:
(305) 284-4012
Address:
Foster Practice Building 5509 San Amaro Dr
Room 125A
Coral Gables, Florida 33146

 
About

About Me

Quote

“What you want for yourself, give freely to others. Our musicianship is simply an extension and expression of our level of consciousness”

Biography

John Daversa is Chair of Studio Music and Jazz at the FROST SCHOOL OF MUSIC as well as an internationally respected performer, composer, arranger, producer, bandleader, educator, and Schilke and BFM Jazz recording artist.

2017 Grammy Nominations for:

  • Best Large Jazz Ensemble
  • Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Capella
  • Best Arrangement, Instruments With Vocal

Dr. Daversa’s celebrated career has included appearances on “The Today Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” as well as such musical gatherings as Live 8 in Berlin, the Hamburg Music Festival, the Java Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Montreux Festival, and the Playboy Jazz Festival. He has recorded with such notable and distinguished artists as Herbie Hancock, Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, Dori Caymi, Andraé Crouch, Bob Mintzer Big Band, and The Yellowjackets.

In 1996, Dr. Daversa founded the John Daversa Progressive Big Band, an influential jazz ensemble of considerable distinction. Their 2011 album Junk Wagon: The Big Band Album won Best in Show and Awards of Excellence in creativity, originality and production from The Global Music Awards. AllAboutJazz.com described it as “Daversa's fearless exploration...takes him off the beaten path, as he creates bold and ballsy big band music for the modern epoch.”

Dr. Daversa’s latest big band release, 2016’s, Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatlesreverently puts a distinctive twist on the iconic Beatles songbook by combining a 40 piece orchestra with vocals by Renee Olstead and Katisse Buckingham. The album has been recognized with six Gold Medals from the 2016 Global Music Awards and is the recipient of 3 GRAMMY© nominations. "This is art,” said jazz legend Terence Blanchard. “This is what music should be. No recreation. No mimicking. Just honesty -- Fearless honesty."

In addition to his other accolades, Dr. Daversa is a recipient of the Herb Alpert Award, the David Joel Miller Award, the National Trumpet Competition, the ITG Jazz Soloist Competition, and a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.

Dr. Daversa earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from The University of California, Los Angeles, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Studies at California Institute of the Arts, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California. He previously taught at both USC and California State University Northridge, California. He endorses Schilke Music Products.

Career

Honors & Acknowledgements

Professional Experience


Career Highlights

  • Chair of Music Studio and Jazz a FROST SCHOOL OF MUSIC, 2013 – present
  • Directing the John Daversa Progressive Big Band, 1996 - present
  • Appearances on “The Today Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show”
  • Recordings alongside artists such as Fiona Apple, Burt Bacharach, Michael Bublé, Dori Caymi, Joe Cocker, Andraé Crouch, Sheryl Crow, Dr. Dre, Gin, Herbie Hancock, Bob Mintzer Big Band, Moonchild, Regina Spektor, Rumer Willis, The Yellowjackets, and Xzibit
  • Recordings for television and film including “Key and Peele,” “The King of Queens”, “The Five-Year Engagement,” “Promised Land,” and “The Associate”
  • Performances at Live 8 in Berlin, the Hamburg Music Festival, the Java Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Montreux Festival, and the Playboy Jazz Festival, Blue Note Tokyo and The Cotton Club, Tokyo.
  • Musical Director for Holiday On Ice (2000 – 2003), Renee Olstead (2004 – 2009)
  • Producer of albums including John Daversa, James Tormé, and Calderwood

Honors, Awards & Competitions

  • Three GRAMMY© nominations and six Global Music Awards Gold Medals for “Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of The Beatles” (2016)
  • Best In Show, Global Music Awards for Junk Wagon: The Big Band Album (2011)
  • Recipient of the Herb Alpert Award, Italian Heritage Awards, the David Joel Miller Award, the National Trumpet Competition and the ITG Jazz Soloist Competition
  • Finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition
  • Director, Winner, Best Large Jazz Ensemble, Collegiate Division, FROST Concert Jazz Band, Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, 2014 and 2016, and Jazz “A” Band, California State University, Northridge (2012)
  • Director, Winner, Downbeat Student Music Awards, Large Jazz Ensemble, Collegiate Division, FROST Concert Jazz Band, 2014, and California State University, Northridge, Jazz “A” Band, 2013
  • Director, California Allegiance for Jazz, State Championship, Best Large Jazz Ensemble, Collegiate Division, California State University, Northridge, Jazz “A” Band, 2012
  • IAMA Songwriting Award, Little Black Spider, 2012
  • Grammy Music Educator Awards Nomination, 2012
  • Mellon Award for Excellence in Mentoring, Nomination, University of Southern California, 2010
  • Jazz Studies Department Award, University of Southern California, 2009 

Recordings

  • Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles, John Daversa (2016) BFM Jazz
  • Artful Joy, John Daversa (2012)BFM Jazz
  • Junk Wagon: The Big Band Album, John Daversa (2011) BFM Jazz
  • Live At Catalina’s, John Daversa Big Band (2009) Daversafications Publications
  • Plays For Lovers, Shogun Warrior (2010) Let’s Music
  • Westland, Westland Trio (2010) Jazz Collective Records

Selected Compositions and Arrangements

  • “Dyulmano, Dyulbero” for Large Jazz Ensemble and Bulgarian Drum (2016), American Foundation For Bulgaria Commission
  • “Do You Want To Know a Secret” for Large Jazz Ensemble, Strings and Vocal, 2016, GRAMMY nomination for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals, Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles, BFM Jazz (CD)
  • “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” for Large Jazz Ensemble and Strings, 2016. GRAMMY nomination for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Capella, Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles, BFM Jazz (CD)
  • “Hara Angelina” for Small Jazz Ensemble, 2012, John Daversa, Artful Joy, BFM Jazz (CD)
  • “Junk Wagon” for Large Jazz Ensemble, 2011, John Daversa, Junk Wagon: The Big Band Album, BFM Jazz (CD)
  • “The Bridge” for Large Jazz Ensemble, 2011, John Daversa, Junk Wagon: The Big Band Album, BFM Jazz (CD)
  • “Between the Thoughts” for Flute and String Quartet, 2007, Commissioned by Pacific Serenades
  • “Just Passin’ By,” Music and Lyrics, 2000, James Tormé Love for Sale, E1 Music (CD)
  • “Don’t Jive the Hitman” for Big Band,1998, John Daversa Live at Catalina’s, Daversafications Publications (CD)
  • “Cheeks for Big Band,” 1995, Commissioned by Hamilton High School, Culver City, CA