David Kikoski has played on over 100 records including 14 under his own name.
He was born in Milltown, NJ and after high school, was accepted to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston where he earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance.
While in Boston, Dave began meeting other great players such as Pat Matheny who sat in with Dave’s trio. (Later in 1994, Dave and Pat would meet up again and record together on Roy Haynes’ album, Te-Vou, which also featured Christian McBride and Donald Harrison).
In 1984, after graduating Berklee, Dave moved to New York City and began playing regularly with players such as Roy Haynes, Bob Berg, Red Rodney, Randy Brecker. Just two years after his move, Dave landed his first professional recording session in 1986 on Randy Brecker’s album In the Idiom with Joe Henderson, Ron Carter and Al Foster.
During the 90’s, Dave’s growing distinction as world class pianist allowed him to work and record as a leader. He was also a ‘go-to’ sideman and was offered places alongside an enviable cast of jazz luminaries such as John Scofield, Ravi Coltrane, Chris Potter, Dave Holland, Mike Stern, Chick Corea, Bill Stewart, Toots Thielemans, Tom Harrell, Gary Thomas, Marcus Miller, Michael Brecker, Pat Martino, Jack Dejohnette and Toninho Horta.
In 2001, Roy Haynes invited Dave to join his all-star lineup including Dave Holland, Roy Hardgrove and Kenny Garrett to record and tour. Their band, ‘Birds of a Feather’ toured extensively with Christian McBride and Nicholas Payton. Birds of a Feather received a Grammy nomination for their album, Caribbean Jazz Project in 2004.
In 2002, Dave toured with his own Quintet in Japan and Russia and also toured with the Brecker Brothers Acoustic Band. In 2009, Dave played in Europe with the Roy Haynes Quartet and in a trio with Roy Haynes and John Patitucci. In 2011, Dave started performing at the Jazz Standard with Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts performing music from Jeff’s upcoming album. Later that year, Dave Performed on ‘The Jazz Cruise’ with The Randy Brecker Band.
Dave played on the Mingus Big Band album Live at the Jazz Standard which won a 2011 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble. In 2015, Dave reunited with Roy Haynes and returned to Blue Note. Currently Dave is continuing to tour the world as both a leader in his own projects as well being a featured sideman among various groups.
He continues to foster his individualistic voice while exploring a wide variety of opportunities as both a leader and sideman. Dave seeks to continue composing not only for his own groups but for films and other artistic mediums. As an affecting modernist, Dave distills the best in jazz and popular music and infuses every song with attention-garnering brilliance.
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