David R. Adler teaches jazz history at the Aaron Copland School of Music (Queens College-CUNY). He has appeared as a guest lecturer at New York University, Hunter College, Baruch College, Fairleigh Dickinson University and the 92nd Street Y.
David also writes about jazz and assorted topics for JazzTimes, The Village Voice, Stereophile, The New York City Jazz Record and other publications. His articles have appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly, Down Beat, Time Out New York, City Arts, Jazziz, The New York Times, The New Republic, Slate, The Forward, The Sondheim Review, Fairmont Magazine (Canada), La Tempestad (Mexico), GEO (Germany), New Music Box, All Music Guide, Global Rhythm, Signal to Noise, Coda, Jewish Currents and more.
David's book reviews for the UK journal Democratiya have been featured alongside Michael Walzer, Todd Gitlin and other leading figures of the democratic left. Chief areas of interest include human rights, foreign policy, the politics of antisemitism and the defense of liberal democratic values.
David has spoken as a panelist at the EMP Pop Conference, the Literature/Film Association Conference, the Detroit Jazz Festival, the Vision Festival and the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) Conference. He has moderated panels for Symphony Space, the Philadelphia Music Project, Jazz Connect, FONT Music and the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA), and conducted pre-concert artist discussions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Ars Nova Workshop concert series and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Onstage, David has interviewed Jason Moran, Joe Lovano, Chris Potter, Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mike Reed, Jeff Parker and John Hollenbeck.
For roughly seven years David served as editor of Jazz Notes, the quarterly publication of the Jazz Journalists Association, helping to oversee its transition to the web as JJA News. David's efforts with the JJA have also included mentoring and education initiatives as well as public advocacy on behalf of journalists, musicians and the jazz idiom in general.
After some years away from the guitar, David has entered a period of rigorous practice and taken up singing as well. His focus is classic R&B, "yacht rock" and other treasures from the AM/FM landscape circa '60s-'80s — all done solo acoustic. In an earlier life, David worked with a wide variety of artists in settings including jazz, rock/pop, gospel, cabaret, musical theater and more. He gigged extensively with Tom Kitt — now a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner for "Next to Normal" — and performed in some of New York’s best-known venues, including Avery Fisher Hall, Roseland, Joe’s Pub, Fez, Mercury Lounge, the Knitting Factory and the Living Room. As a member of the East Village band Keeta Speed (1996-1999), he recorded with the famed producers Dave McDonald (Portishead), Patrick Dillett (They Might Be Giants) and Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips).
Read about David’s trips to Fes, Morocco in June 2008; Dakar, Senegal in February 2008 (here and here); and Turkey/Iraqi Kurdistan in March 2006.
David’s Q&A profile at Normblog. And his "Writer's Choice" guest post on Orhan Pamuk’s Snow.
David’s 2006 review essay on Michael Moore (the filmmaker — not the reeds player, not the bassist).
David’s reflections on jazz and political protest.
What they're saying:
“Some of the finest prose I’ve carried.” - Alan Johnson, Editor, Democratiya
“Showing no signs of wackness whatsoever.” - hiphopmusic.com
“One of two or three music writers I don’t want to punch in the face.” - a New York bassist
"Hey, aren't you the jazz critic who writes about the terrorists?" - a New York pianist, at the next urinal