Dave Holdsworth

Dave HoldsworthDave Holdsworth – guest leader, professional musician (trumpet, valve trombone, tuba, sousaphone), composer and arranger

Growing up in Yorkshire, Dave’s musical career began at the age of seven with the cornet and lessons from the bandmaster of the local brass band, with the music propped up on the kitchen table. Before long, he was playing in various Yorkshire brass bands and dance bands.

In his early teenage years, Dave discovered trad jazz through a couple of treasured records: Humphrey Lyttleton’s Bad Penny Blues and a live Louis Armstrong EP. Then he began going to trad concerts by touring bands such as Chris Barber, Acker Bilk and Mick Mulligan.

After finishing studies in History and Politics at Keele University, Dave moved to London where aside the day job in education, he worked with such jazz luminaries as Herbie Flowers, Mike Westbrook, Graham Collier, Chris MacGregor, Mike Osborne Quartet and Septet, Liane Carroll Quartet, the London Jazz Composers’ orchestra, Spirit Level, Tony Oxley Septet.

He has numerous radio broadcasts and recordings to his credit with many of the above bands and orchestras.   His first broadcast and his first recording were very special moments, he says.

After a stint living and playing in Brighton, Dave decided to head west where he continues to play with various bands in clubs and festivals all over the UK, as well as composing, arranging and – luckily for the Totnes Jazz Workshop – being a regular guest leader.

Dave’s most admired jazz musician is Miles Davis who can ‘stir deeper feelings with fewer notes than anybody else’. Flamenco Sketches from Kind of Blue is his favourite track of all time. But the album he probably listens to most is Michel Marre’s Fanfare because ‘it’s great to play along with’.

Dave’s latest band Dave Holdsworth’s New Brew has just released an album Wodgi, available from www.jazzcds.co.uk.

Dave enjoys most musical genres but firmly draws the line at rap, organ music and Country and Western.

Musical regrets include not learning to play the piano as he believes it might have helped him in harmony and composition but he also says ‘knowing too much can sometimes be inhibiting. The best technicians are rarely the most creative musicians.’

Not many people know this but Dave has a talent for neat sewing. But claims he can’t play high notes (we dispute this) nor speak Russian!