Jazz Guitarist and Jazz Saxophonist – David Brecker
David Brecker has recorded over 700 albums as a guitarist and jazz saxophonist, performing with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver, Quincy Jones, Chet Baker, McCoy Tyner, George Benson and Pat Metheny.
He formed three bands that fused jazz with rock, R&B, and funk: Dreams, The Brecker Brothers, and Steps Ahead.
Early Life and Education
Brecker was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his parents Ben and Clara Friesen. Although they weren’t musicians themselves, they encouraged his interest in music nonetheless.
As a teenager, he began playing tenor saxophone. He participated in both his high school band and college jazz ensembles.
In the 1960s, he formed two bands that fused jazz with rock, R&B and funk. The first group he created was Dreams (1969) featuring trombonist Barry Rogers, drummer Billy Cobham and bassist Doug Lubahn.
His second band, Steps (later known as Steps Ahead), formed in 1975 and remained active through the 1980s. During the 1990s he recorded solo albums to showcase his compositional skillset; additionally he collaborated with Paul Simon on his 1993 album, “Simon and Garfunkel”.
David Brecker is an iconic crossover fusion artist, best known for his hard bop-inspired trumpet playing. He’s collaborated with numerous musicians such as James Brown, Lou Reed, Aerosmith, George Benson and Todd Rundgren on tours and recordings over the years.
David Brecker is a multi-talented musician, but he also practices law. His practice encompasses intellectual property, securities law, business torts, product liability, corporate divorces and contracts as well as healthcare payor/provider relationships and duties owed to fiduciaries. Additionally, David manages real estate projects.
He has won an array of tennis titles, such as six Grand Slam singles titles and the year-ending ATP Tour World Championship. Additionally, he has coached and mentored several renowned players, including Novak Djokovic.
Achievements and Honors
David Brecker is renowned for his agile and multifaceted post-bop trumpeting. His talents have been showcased on stage with iconic artists such as Horace Silver, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and Charles Mingus.
He has collaborated with David Sanborn, Jaco Pastorius, and Frank Zappa on avant-garde jazz-rock fusion groups. Additionally, he co-founded (with his brother Michael Brecker) the celebrated Brecker Brothers Band which earned two Grammies in 1994.
In addition to his professional career as a performing musician, he has served on faculty at Cuesta College since 2001 teaching Recording Arts, Rock, World and Jazz Appreciation. Additionally, he enjoys creating new music which he showcases during recitals for SLO Wind Orchestra, San Luis Symphony, and other local groups.
David Brecker (1949-2007), a self-effacing yet inspiring saxophonist, had an eclectic range of interests. From childhood on, he was deeply moved by John Coltrane’s music and later studied clarinet and alto saxes.
He traveled and performed with a wide range of jazz, R&B and rock musicians. Additionally, he enjoyed an illustrious solo career.
He began his professional career in New York City and quickly earned a reputation for his deep jazz influences, particularly John Coltrane’s music. He recorded or performed with notable jazz artists such as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Pat Metheny.
David Brecker was born in Philadelphia to a music-loving father who took him to see live jazz legends. At age 6, David began playing clarinet; by eighth grade he switched to alto saxophone and soon after settled on tenor saxophone as well. By age 10, David had discovered his true calling.
After graduating from Indiana University, Brecker moved to New York City. He began touring with bands in the fusion and jazz-rock genres as well as performing more traditional acoustic jazz settings.
His professional career spanned more than 50 years and saw him appear on over 900 albums as either a soloist or sideman. Additionally, he contributed to many pop and rock recordings with artists such as James Taylor and Paul Simon.