David Ornette Cherry is a musician, composer and educator who grew up in Watts, California and now lives in Portland, Oregon.
The pulses and melodies that arise from his jazz, classical, African, world music background, and from playing with some of the great jazz artists of our times, speak about our human experiences through the the language of sound. He listens with an open heart and fresh mind to his collaborators and the world around him in a way that makes his compositions not only music, but a way of life, a positive form of energy, and a way to connect. He has won the 2003 ASCAP- Chamber Music America Award for adventurous Programming of Contempory Music and trains young musicians in world music, theory, and piano.
David was born the same year Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry recorded their first album, SOMETHIN ELSE. The ambient music streaming through his childhood was generated by the early collaborations of his dad, Don Cherry, with Coleman and the musicians who visited his parents' Mariposa Avenue home in Los Angeles. However, it was a wood-chopping accident one summer in Sweden that sealed David's musical fate as he was confined to music study and later performing with his Dad at the age of sixteen years old.
Other collaborations have included Ed Blackwell, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins, Dewey Redman, Phil Ranelin, Justo Almario, Thara Memory, Glenn Moore, Carlton Jackson, Kamau Daaood.
He sees himself crossing borders drawing from the past - building a passageway to jazz of the future. David states, "The music never stopped. Jazz is dynamic. It is a continuum that expands and takes from the players and composers so they can add their little something to the art. It's not about JUST referencing the past. It's about keeping the momentum going like a ball that keeps rolling along."
He further states, "My compositions are a musical fusion of cultures laid firmly down on a foundation of purely garage-style beats. It's a union of textures, sounds, lifestyles, surroundings, and messages in a universal language emphasizing a positive state of mind."
Acoustic piano, electronic keyboards, melodica, wood flute and douss'n gouni are his instruments.