A veteran sideman on the New York Jazz scene, alto saxophonist David Bixler has recently emerged as an accomplished, urbane band leader and composer.
One of the highlights of David’s early years in New York was his role as lead alto saxophonist with the Lionel Hampton Jazz Orchestra including performances in Europe and throughout the United States.
In the 1990’s, David was a freelance jazz musician and jazz teacher in Barcelona, Spain where he was a much sought-after performer and clinician. The cross-cultural experience of Europe opened David’s mind to a broader realm of musical possibilities.
Since returning to New York over the past eleven years, David has made a name for himself in the trenches of the New York City jazz scene. David has performed and toured with the orchestras of Toshiko Akiyoshi and Duke Ellington at prestigious venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Symphony Center in Chicago, the Snow Mass Jazz Festival in Aspen, CO, and New York's JVC Jazz Festival.
Since 1999 David has been lead alto saxophonist of the Grammy-nominated Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, performing at Birdland in New York City each Sunday night as well as touring through out Europe, North America and Central America. Additionally, during the fall of 2005, David performed with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra at the historic Concert Hall in Shanghai, China.
During this time David began collaborating with trumpeter Scott Wendholt, guitarist John Hart, Ugonna Okegwa on bass, and Andy Watson on drums. David’s debut Jazz Quintet CD entitled Lost in Queens was released in May of 2000. In the fall of 2003, David released his second CD, Show Me The Justice, which received national airplay and critical praise for demonstrating David's creative abilities as composer as well as improviser. His third CD, Call It A Good Deal, is slated for release in July 2006 by ZOHO and features all original compositions by David Bixler.
A native of Racine, Wisconsin, David completed a Bachelor of Music degree and the prestigious Artist Diploma certificate from Indiana University where he studied with Eugene Rousseau and David Baker. In 1986 after completing studies in Bloomington, David won a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to study with renowned saxophonist George Coleman in New York City. David again won the same grant from the National Endowment for the Arts the following year.
David Bixler, March 2006. Photo by Jack Frisch
In addition to his talent as a musician and composer, David is also a jazz educator. He often gives master classes and presents clinics for students of all ages and he is a member of the faculty of Montclair State University
in New Jersey.
David is married to violinist Heather Bixler. The Bixlers have four children and live in Harlem.