Wondering Where You've Gone
As a jazz composer, arranger, pianist, saxophonist, and vocalist I have been an active participant of the New York City jazz scene for more than thirty years. I have lead my two ensembles - an octet and a tentet in performances on the concert stage, in jazz clubs in and around the NYC metropolitan area, and in many schools as part of a jazz education program. I have performed with these groups and arranged music for several films including "Mr. Holland's Opus", "Shinning Through" and "Inventing The Abbots". The musicians in my bands are important names in their own right having played with some of the jazz legends of our time such as Lionel Hampton, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, "Blood Sweat and Tears", Artie Shaw, Frank Sinatra, and Chuck Mangione. Among the personnel on "Wondering Where You've Gone" are Gerry Niewood, Tim Reis, Danny Gottlieb, Mike Richmond, Bob Devos, and Jerry Sokolov. After obtaining an undergraduate degree from NYU and a graduate degree in Music Composition from LIU, I proceeded into full-time public school teaching of music where I had a very successful thirty-year career. In that capacity I developed many programs in jazz studies. My original influences were the composers, arrangers, and soloists from the Big Band Swing era such as Glenn Miler, Benny Goodman, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. I became profoundly moved by the music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie (Be-bop) and by the modernists such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, and Maynard Ferguson. The late, great jazz saxophonist Gerry Niewood had this to say about my music: "The music of David Heckendorn has a wonderful balance; it is technically challenging, yet it is also melodically satisfying. It is modern and innovative yet remains reverent to tradition." I have recently completed a jazz opera called "Our Moment In The Sun" (soon to be released) and I am now working on several new CDs and a jazz ballet.