dave nelson

photo by Bryan Murray

Dave Nelson is a Georgia-born, NYC-based experimental trombonist and composer. His latest solo project uses effects and loop pedals to create hypnotic and compositionally-minded soundscapes. In This Day, an album of improvisatory looped pieces, documented Dave’s first foray into this new musical territory, and he has since been performing the music to receptive audiences all around NYC. His recently released, Meditations, builds on the concept by adding more effects and a slower, more pulsing meditational expansiveness.

As a side musician, Dave has performed, recorded, and/or toured the world with a range of talented and popular artists including David Byrne & St. VincentThe NationalSufjan Stevens, Vampire Weekend, Beirut, Bonobo, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, JonsiMartha Wainwright, and Spoon. He’s performed at many of the worlds best venues as well as on most major late-night TV shows including SNL, Letterman, Fallon, and Kimmel.

In addition to his work in popular music, Dave performs regularly with today’s premier classical and new music ensembles in New York City including The Knights OrchestraInternational Contemporary EnsembleTalea, and Deviant Septet. In 2010, Dave played first trombone on the Broadway revival of West Side Story. He can also be heard on numerous film and television scores including the 2012 Sundance Winner Beasts of the Southern Wild.

As a composer and producer, Dave uses his skills as multi-instrumentalist to create eclectic musical works in his studio and often creates original scores for film and television. Recent projects include work for HBO, Saturday Night Live, and The Colbert Report.

Selected Discography

  • Recent Music


    improvisations for trombone & effects pedals

    Nelson Patton EP

    trombone loops + drums & moog bass pedals