Trumpeter/Composer Dave Ballou can be heard in a variety of settings; from solo trumpet improvisations to large ensembles performing notated compositions. His recordings as a leader can be found on the Steeplechase, CleanFeed and pfMentum record labels. Ballou has performed or recorded with ensembles led by Rabih Abou-Kahlil, Steely Dan, Michael Formanek, Woody Herman, Andrew Hill, John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, Sheila Jordan, Oliver Lake, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Dewey Redman and Maria Schneider. Ballou worked closely with the late Gunther Schuller performing as soloist on the definitive recording of Journey into Jazz with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and as a featured soloist for the world premiere of Schuller’s Encounters. He was an orchestra member for the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of 42nd St. (2001-2004).
The Meridian Arts Ensemble, The Rose City Brass Quintet, The TILT Brass ensemble and the Monarch Trio have all performed his compositions. His work for solo trumpet, Samskara, has been recorded by Jon Nelson. University of Michigan French Horn professor, Adam Unsworth, performed an adaptation of Samskara for horn. Ballou received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2009 and 2015.
Ballou is a Professor of Music at Towson University and member of the Jazz/Commercial music division and director of the Murray Jazz residency. He teaches classes jazz theory and improvisation, jazz arranging, studio jazz trumpet, and improvisation for all instrumentalists, jazz composition and coaches small jazz ensembles including the improvisation ensemble. He has is a faculty member at the Litchfield Jazz Camp, and has taught at the Maryland Summer Jazz Camp, the Maine Jazz Camp and The Banff Institute.
Ballou earned a BM (magna cum laude) from Berklee College of Music in 1986 and a MA from the University of New Hampshire in 1992.