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Canadian Heritage

Dave Young


DAVID (DAVE) YOUNG (bassist) was born on January 29, 1940 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He began studying the guitar and violin when he was 10 years old, but a turn of events at his first gig (a university dance band) compelled him to pick up the bass. Educated as both a jazz and a classical player, Young’s elegant performances with the late guitarist Lenny Breau are legendary. He was a member of the Lenny Breau Quartet in live performance and recording for five years from 1961 to 1966. Dave Young’s professional relationship with jazz giant Oscar Peterson spanned three decades during which he played in the Oscar Peterson Trio in appearances all over the world up until Peterson’s death.

Young is equally comfortable with symphonic work and acoustic jazz. As classical artist, he was the principal Double Bassist for a number of years with the Edmonton and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras as well as with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. As a jazz artist, he has collaborated with the genre’s brightest luminaries including Oscar Peterson, Clark Terry, Zoot Sims, Joe Williams, Oliver Jones, Lenny Breau, Rob McConnell, Phil Dwyer, Michel Lambert, John Hicks, Mulgrew Miller, Tommy Flanagan, Ellis Marsalis, Barry Harris, Kenny Barron, Cyrus Chestnut, Cedar Walton, Peter Appleyard, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Kenny Burrell, Hank Jones, Nat Adderly, Gary Burton, Barney Kessel, Ed Bickert, Ranee Lee, Marcus Belgrave, Don Thompson, and James Moody.

Young regularly tours with clarinetist James Campbell and pianist Gene Di Novi in a program of “Classical Fusion” that melds the classical and jazz worlds. He also performs a “dueling basses” repertoire of classical works with Toronto Symphony bassist Joel Quarrington, often billed as the "Two Bass Hit". Perhaps one of the versatile Dave Young’s most loved and popular musical combinations is his own Quintet, an ensemble firmly rooted in the be-bop tradition, and focusing on the material of Horace Silver and Charles Mingus. In the fall of 2009, Dave released, Mean What You Say ,an independently release album produced by bassist Robert Occhipinti and featuring Robi Botos,Frank Botos, and Kevin Turcotte.

In 2009, Dave performed as part of a 16-piece orchestra accompanying award-winning choreographer Twyla Tharp’s latest Broadway-bound dance work: “Come Fly With Me” – The Music of Frank Sinatra.

In 2011, Young released Aspects of Oscar with his quintet featuring Dave Young, Kevin Turcotte, Reg Schwager, Robi Botos and Terry Clarke. The album was nominiated for a JUNO Award. In 2012, the Dave Young / Terry Promane Octet released their recording Octet Volume One, which was nominated for JUNO Award. 

As an educator, Dave Young has taught at numerous music seminars and jazz clinics and is currently a faculty member of The University of Toronto. In 2003, Young was in residence at the Music Department of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, conducting bass master classes and performing.

1993 – JUNO Award Winner (with tenorist Phil Dwyer) for ‘Best Mainstream Jazz Recording’ for Fables and Dreams
1994 – “Jazz Report” Award Winner as ‘Acoustic Bassist of the Year’
1996 – “Jazz Report” Award Winner as ‘Acoustic Bassist of the Year’
1996 – “Jazz Report” Award Winner for ‘Jazz Album of the Year’ - Two by Two: Volume One
1997 – “Jazz Report” Award Winner as ‘Acoustic Bassist of the Year’
1997 – “Jazz Report” Award Winner as ‘Musician of the Year’
1998 – “Jazz Report” Award Winner as ‘Acoustic Bassist of the Year’
1998 – “Jazz Report” Award Winner as ‘Musician of the Year’
2001 – JUNO Nomination for A Tale of the Fingers
2003 – Accorded the IAJE Award for “Outstanding Service to Jazz” at the 2003 International Association for Jazz Education Conference
2003 – National Jazz Awards Winner as ‘Bassist of the Year’
2004 – National Jazz Awards Winner as ‘Bassist of the Year’
2005 – National Jazz Awards Winner as ‘Bassist of the Year’
2006 – National Jazz Awards winner as 'Acoustic Group of the Year' (Dave Young Quintet)
2006 – National Jazz Awards Winner as ‘Bassist of the Year’
2007 – National Jazz Awards Winner as ‘Bassist of the Year’
2007 – Named an Officer of the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honour given in this country, granted to Canadian citizens 'for outstanding achievement and service to the country or to humanity at large'
2012 – JUNO nomination - 'Traditional Jazz Album' for Aspects of Oscar - Dave Young Quintet
2013 – JUNO nomination - 'Traditional Jazz Album' for Octet Volume One (with Terry Promane)