David Demsey is Professor of Music, Coordinator of Jazz Studies and Curator of the Living Jazz Archives at William Paterson University. He co-authored Alec Wilder: A Biobibliography (Greenwood Press) and edited the recent edition of Wilder’s autobiographical Letters I Never Mailed (University of Rochester Press), as well as authoring John Coltrane Plays “Giant Steps” (Hal Leonard). His “Improvisation and Concepts of Virtuosity” is the final essay in the Oxford Jazz Companion. A longtime Saxophone Journal Contributing Editor, his articles appear in Down Beat, Instrumentalist, Jazz Educators Journal, and Journal of Jazz Studies, and he wrote liner notes for five Verve Records CDs.
Demsey has been a Selmer Saxophone Clinician since 1988. He has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1999 including numerous performances of Puccini's Turandot, and Nixon in China conducted by composer John Adams. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic since 1994 including an all-Gershwin recording and two world tours. His Golden Crest album Demsey Plays Wilder features the jazz and chamber music of Alec Wilder. He is a member of the New Hudson and American Saxophone Quartets, toured with the Kirov Orchestra, and appeared with such artists as Clark Terry, pianists Mulgrew Miller, James Williams and Jim McNeely, and bassists Milt Hinton and Rufus Reid. His graduate degrees are from Eastman and Juilliard.