dave nelson

photo by Bryan Murray

Dave Nelson is a Georgia-born, New York-based trombonist and composer. His solo projects use analog 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. Dave is also a member of Pfarmers, a collaborative trio with Bryan Devendorf (The National) and Danny Seim (Menomena). Their debut album “Gunnera” was released in May 2015 with Dave’s contribution receiving praise:

The trio’s most engaging element is Nelson’s intricate and often startling trombone, utilized in diverse ways throughout. Whether it’s in the atmospheric gloom on opener “Benthos” or the propulsive, repeating lines of “The Ol’ River Gang”, Nelson emerges as the most exciting contributor to Gunnera.

~ Kristofer Lenz, Consequence of Sound

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, Colbert, 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

    Thirty Thousand Feet

    improvisations for trombone & pedals


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