He joined his first adult big band aged 11, playing what he considered his main instrument – saxophone – whilst working his way through various Associated Board grades on clarinet (because at the time there were none for saxophone…). Dave eventually achieved all his AB grades on clarinet, receiving 149 out of 150 for Grade 6.
He occupied a saxophone chair at NYJO when he was 13 and stayed in the band for 11 years during the late 70s/early 80s, which proved to be an amazing training ground. With NYJO he toured the USA, USSR, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, featured on several of NYJO’s early albums and made many TV appearances.
When he was 18, Dave joined the QE2’s band for 6 months, completing one World cruise and three Caribbean cruises – on his return he began his freelance playing career.
This has involved TV, film, advertising and recording sessions and has resulted in a number of credits, most notably a Record of the Year Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences in recognition of his work on Amy Winehouse’s Grammy Award winning record Rehab.
As a performer, Dave has played with some of the world’s finest artists, including Quincy Jones, Robbie Williams and Michael Bublé, has featured extensively in West End shows, including Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and is also a saxophone augment for a number of orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra.
He has worked on at least 10 Royal Variety Shows and many Olivier and BAFTA award shows, as well as doing eighteen years of Stars In Their Eyes. As well as being a member of the Strictly Come Dancing Orchestra, Dave has also played in the X Factor band and, since 2003, has been a member of Robbie Williams’ band.
Dave was left a library of music by Tubby Hayes and currently runs the Tubby Hayes Legacy Orchestra, which includes some of the finest session and jazz musicians in London.
As an educator Dave has presented a number of tutorial clinics and master classes, including at the Army School of Music at Kneller Hall, Leeds College of Music and on the Wigan Jazz Course. He has also taught at the Royal Academy of Music at the specific request of NYJO alumnus Gerard Presencer.