David R. Adler writes about jazz and assorted topics. He also plays guitar and sings. From 2010-2017 he taught jazz history at the Aaron Copland School of Music (Queens College-CUNY), collaborating extensively with Ricky Riccardi of the Louis Armstrong House Museum and Archives. He has also appeared as a guest lecturer at New York University, Hunter College, Baruch College, Fairleigh Dickinson University and the 92nd Street Y. In summer 2017, after 30 years in New York (apart from two in Philadelphia), David relocated with his family to Athens, Georgia. There he continues to write about music and perform solo.
David’s work has appeared in JazzTimes, NPR Music, The Village Voice, Stereophile, WBGO.org, Jazz Artistry Now, The New York City Jazz Record, 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 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 former quarterly publication of the Jazz Journalists Association, helping to oversee its transition to the web currently 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.
David’s performing career centers on classic pop and R&B, “yacht rock” and other treasures from the AM/FM landscape circa ’60s-’80s — all done solo acoustic. The more challenging and unlikely the song, the better. In an earlier life, David studied jazz guitar with Jim Hall, John Abercrombie, Steve Khan, Vic Juris and others, earning a BFA in 1990 from the New School program in Jazz and Contemporary Music. He went on to work 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).
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.” – New York bassist
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