Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Studio Music and Jazz (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Brian Lynch

Second Committee Member

Gary Lindsay

Third Committee Member

Donald Coffman

Fourth Committee Member

John Olah


Trumpeter Dave Douglas is widely considered to be one of the most important contemporary jazz composers and performers of our time. Douglas has quickly garnered a reputation for himself as a leading voice in jazz and experimental music, and is likely to be recognized as a true visionary in jazz at the turn of the century. Douglas has been performing and composing as a leader for little more than twenty years and has, in that period, accomplished more than most jazz artists have in a lifetime. His eclectic compositional approach is informed by a respect of the jazz tradition, a firm understanding of various musical disciplines, and a desire to explore uncharted compositional territory. This essay is an examination of Douglas’ compositional style and development, specifically in relation to the many disparate ensembles Douglas has founded over the course of his career.


Dave Douglas; jazz composition; music analysis; jazz; composition