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Dr. David Lisik is a Canadian composer/arranger, trumpeter, record producer, author, educator, and retired university professor living in Wellington, New Zealand.


Dave’s music has been performed and recorded worldwide by outstanding musicians including Alex Sipiagin, Chris Potter, Donny McCaslin, Tim Hagans, Seamus Blake, Dick Oatts, Will Vinson, Scott Wendholt, Charles Pillow, John Escreet, Dave Kikoski, Bob Sheppard, Luis Bonilla, John Fedchock, Robin Eubanks, Conrad Herwig, Dave Taylor, Lauren Sevian, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Matt Wilson, Boris Kozlov, Matt Brewer, Donald Edwards, Alina Engibaryan, Steve Houghton, Marvin Stamm, Bill Mays, Carl Allen, Kirk Whalum, the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra (Australia), Endeavour Jazz Orchestra New Zealand, and the Wellington Jazz Orchestra.

Dave is co-author of the book 50 Years at the Village Vanguard - Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (SkyDeck Publishing) and his book of 24 Marvin Stamm trumpet solos is published by Charles Colin, New York. He is currently co-authoring books on the history of the Village Vanguard jazz club, the music of Thad Jones, jazz composition, and jazz pedagogy.


As a trumpeter, Dave has performed as a member of the Jazz Orchestra of the Delta (Memphis), Dave Lisik Orchestra, Endeavour Jazz Orchestra New Zealand, Rodger Fox Wellington Jazz Orchestra, Ron Paley Big Band, Memphis Jazz Orchestra, Memphis King Beez, New Memphis Hepcats Jazz Orchestra, Bill Shepherd Big Band, Powerhouse Rhythm and Blues Band, Nightlife Blues Band, and jazz orchestras at the University of Northern Iowa, University of Memphis, University of Mary, and University of Manitoba. His other freelance trumpet work includes the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Bismarck Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Brass Quintet, and many solo performances.

All of Dave’s original work is published by Galloping Cow Music (ASCAP)/SkyDeck Music Publishing and UNC Jazz Press and is available from the composer.


From 2010 to 2024, Dave was Coordinator of Jazz Composition at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington, teaching all undergraduate Jazz Theory and Composition/Arranging as well as supervising many honors, master's, and doctoral students.


Dave is chair and trustee of the New Zealand Jazz Foundation. Through the Foundation he founded and coordinates the NZJF Jazz Academy, coordinates the annual New Zealand National Jazz Workshops, and has co-directed the New Zealand Youth Jazz Orchestra since 2011. He founded and produced the annual New Zealand School of Music Jazz Festival, created the school's first course in Jazz Pedagogy, and founded the annual New Zealand National Jazz Educators Workshops in 2015.  He also created and co-directed the Wellington Youth Jazz Orchestra and Trans-Tasman Jazz Orchestra as a cooperative venture with the Sydney Conservatorium.

​Before moving to New Zealand, Dr. Lisik was Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee, where he taught jazz theory, history, improvisation, composition, jazz piano, African American music history, music technology and production, and created the African Drumming Ensemble and the LeMoyne-Owen Records label, producing three CDs of student work.

Dave completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition (Jazz and Classical Emphases) at the University of Memphis, where he directed large and small jazz ensembles and taught Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz Ensemble Techniques, Jazz Ear Training, and Jazz History.

From 1998-2003, Dave was Director of Bands at Murdoch MacKay Collegiate in Winnipeg, Canada, where his ensembles were awarded twelve Gold ratings at regional music festivals, two National Gold Awards, and a Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award. In that time, the Murdoch MacKay jazz ensembles recorded and released three studio CDs.

Dave received a Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Northern Iowa in 1998 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Mary. Dave was a performing member of UNI Jazz Band One which included performances at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals, two CD releases: Games (1998); and Conversations (1997), two of Dr. Herb Wong's IAJE Blue Chip Jazz CD Awards, and a Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award for College Big Band. Dave also received three outstanding soloist awards at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival in Chicago, and won two MTNA state composition championships.

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