MILLHEIM — Considered one of the most noted jazz musicians today, New York City trumpeter and jazz guru David Douglas has impressed audiences across the nation and through National Public Radio with his hard driving, soulful spin of jazz music that ranges from jovial to melancholy.
On Saturday night Douglas, along with a trio of talented musicians, will join together to form the harmonious David Douglas Quartet when they perform at the Elk Creek Café in Millheim, bringing big city jazz to rural Pennsylvania.
“I don’t play in Pennsylvania very often, and as I am engaged on a 50-state tour in celebration of my 50th birthday, this will be one of the shows on that trek,” Douglas said.
“I find that the audience is the best part of the show and touring. It takes some sensitivity to feel out the aura of a room and receive that feedback. People everywhere react differently and that can be quite surprising! It’s one more aspect of being an improvising musician,” he said.
Improvising is one of the reasons the talented trumpeter has been attracted to jazz and performing its distinct, freestyle style of music which has kept him in-tune with jazz for the past 20 years.
Douglas, the recipient of a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and an Aaron Copland award, paired with two Grammy nominations, is one of the rare musicians who not only plays the music, it is interwoven throughout many aspects of his daily life, which often finds him performing most nights at celebrated venues and performance halls.
“I am a jazz musician who grew up playing standards and began writing my own music in many different contexts. My music is, I believe, still jazz,” he said. “However, many of the interests I have pursued as a composer take the sound of the music in unexpected directions. I like to give the listener something familiar while moving into uncharted territory.”