“From the first meaty whoomph of Damon Smith’s arco bass, one is keenly aware of a strong connection to bassists like Peter Kowald and Buschi Niebergall. There’s a workman-like physicality of horsehair on strings, as well as a muscular and bodily presence that, despite its massiveness; is almost balletic in its motions. Oakland-based Smith readily acknowledges the influence of the German bassists; his first audio experience of freely improvised bass was Kowald’s FMP LP Duos: Europa.”
— Clifford Allen (Paris Transatlantic)
A trombone player, composer, improviser, and educator, David Dove has given performances and workshops across North America (US, Mexico, and Canada), in Europe (Germany, Scotland), and in Vietnam. He has collaborated with some of the top national and international artists in contemporary music. As the Founder of Nameless Sound (a non-profit organization in Houston, Texas), he has presented important concerts of world-class contemporary music and has pioneered an innovative approach to creative music education based on creativity, diversity, and improvisation. In 2003, the critics of the Houston Press named Dove “Best Jazz Artist”. In 2004, he received an artist fellowship from The Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County. In 2011, he and Nameless Sound were presented with The Houston Press’ “Mastermind Award”. Teaching and performing residencies have included events with: NoEstacionarte (Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, 2011), UNAM (Mexico City, 2010), The Exploratoium (Berlin, Germany in 2009), Ch’ak’ab Paaxil Festival (Merida, Mexico in 2008), The National Children’s Theater (Hanoi, Vietnam in 2007) and The Greater Easterhouse Arts Company (Glasgow, Scotland in 2006).
Damon Smith studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and had lessons with Bertram Turezky, Joëlle Leandré, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser and others. He has also done considerable research of the ´sonic palette´ of the double bass. This has resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. He is also very influenced by visual art, flim and dance. Work with director Werner Herzog (soundtracks for “Grizzly Man” & “Encounters at the end of the World” and an early perfomance with the Merce Cunningham dance company reflect this. He has collaboratted with a wide range of musicians including Cecil taylor, Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra´s Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Birgit Ulher,Fred Frith, Wadada Leo Smith, Marco Eneidi, Wolfgang Fuchs, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. He worked often in the San Francisco Bay Area Creative Music Community and is now based in Houston, Texas.