• Biography

Dave was born and raised in San Francisco, California in a large Victorian home in the Sunnyside District.  His mother bought him an accordion at age 12 and he began playing ‘Lady of Spain’ by ear.  After two years of lessons he began playing at local community events including Saint Finn Barrs Church, the local church his family attended. Dave soon got bored with the accordion and pawned it for a set of blond conga drums with hand-picked muleskin heads.  Dave was inspired by his friend Charlie Versaggi, an Italian teen percussionist.  Charlie’s father owned an Italian delicatessen where Dave worked part-time after school, often playing duets with Charlie on counters, cans and jars of pickled pigs’ feet.  He really took to the congas, developing a significant set of chops and practicing 5-6 hours each day.   

His first musical group was a Latin orchestra named Del Rio, playing bongos and congas in the SF mission district.  He also joined in with the Latin group Los Elegantes for a season. He played in the percussion ensemble at Mission High School in SF.  He moved to Sacramento in 1973 where he picked up the guitar, practicing many hours daily developing his fingerpicking and flatpicking skills.  His percussion background added to his rhythmic playing style.  Dave’s early guitar influences were John Fahey, Bolo Sete, and Al Dimeola, as well as others. Over the years he has laid percussion tracks in the studio, often with longtime friend and guitarist Bruce Bolin (Pudding Stone Recording). Bruce and Dave continue to perform as a duo for various local venues.  

His more recent inspirations come from the eclectic poetic styles of Tim Reynolds, Tuck Andress and especially Italian born fingerstylist Peppino D’Agostino.  According to Dave, Peppino is the most melodic, rhythmic and dynamic player he has ever heard.  He studied with Peppino in 2006.  

Dave explores music from the experiential side of life’s developmental unfolding and is mainly a solo performer and entertainer.  He blends an array of open tunings and fingerstyle techniques which culminate in a seductively melodic and percussive sound.  His vocal styles are strong and varied. He has developed an original blend of homegrown funk, jazz and ambient tunes. He also croons a variety of covers from John Prine to Mos Allison.  Listeners often say he plays with a sense of freedom and native ability.  His creativity is not limited to only music. He has a master’s degree in Spanish and is a licensed therapist. He currently lives with his wife Jenna in Davis, California, performing at local and surrounding area venues. A CD is currently in the making.

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