david ambrosio




For the past 25 years, David Ambrosio has been one of New York City’s finest freelance musicians and educators. His current working projects as a leader are CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE: Blue Note Records in the Progressive ‘60s, featuring Grammy nominated saxophonist Donny McCaslin and drumming legend Victor Lewis; the David Ambrosio Quartet featuring the powerful tenor/trumpet front line of Tim Hagans and Joel Frahm, working in a chordless format; and the David Ambrosio Trio, featuring saxophonist Loren Stillman.

In addition to his own ensembles, he is the co-leader of the David Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Sextet, 40Twenty, and Grupo Los Santos, as well as being a part of many other groups including George Schuller’s Circle Wide, the Matt Renzi Trio, Eri Yamamoto Trio, and the BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra led by Jim McNeely. He has performed with such jazz greats as Kenny Werner, Terry Gibbs,  Buddy DeFranco, George Garzone, Joseph Jarmon, and Ralph Alessi.

David’s third recording as leader, Four on the Road (Fresh Sound Records, 2018), was praised as “Swinging brilliance in the light of interactive engagement, creating music that challenges while remaining largely accessible” by Dan Bilawsky of All About Jazz.

With degrees in classical composition and jazz performance, David has a broad musical palate that has become even more intensified by his extensive travel experiences. In 2001 he had the opportunity to perform in Cuba with Grupo Los Santos, Max Pollack’s Rumbatap, as well as numerous local Afro/Cuban folkloric music and dance ensembles. Not long after, he began what has become an 14-year period of intense study of Afro/Cuban Bata drumming with master drummers Miguel Bernal, Carlos Gomez, and Carlos Aldama.

Dave has also frequently toured in Central and South East Asia on behalf of the US State Department as a performer and clinician.



NY bassist David Ambrosio's new quartet features the powerful front line of NY veterans, trumpet player and saxophonist Tim Hagens and Joel Frahm, as well as the dynamic drummer Billy Mintz.

After being sideman with a wide variety of musicians as well as his numerous long standing group collaborations, David presents his own compositions in the "chord-less" format with this new group. 

civil disobedience

Civil Disobedience is a project created by NY bassist David Ambrosio that features the work progressive jazz composers of the late 60's Blue Note Era, including Bobby Hutcherson, Jackie McLean, Stanley Cowell, Howard Land, Joe, Chambers, and James Spaulding. During a time of important social change and civil unrest, much of this music went unreleased until decades later. As a result, these compositions were not heard at the time for when they were written.

Now, fifty years later, in America we are seeing significant parallels with the social movements of that era, which gives this important music a new sense of relevancy and urgency.

Civil Disobedience was conceived and convened as an artistic response to current political events - both domestic and global - performing the politically conscious jazz compositions of the late 1960s Blue Note Era.

Civil Disobedience is:

Donny McCaslin - tenor & soprano sax

Duane Eubanks - trumpet

Bruce Barth - piano

David Ambrosio - bass

Victor Lewis - drums



David Ambrosio - FOUR ON THE ROAD (Fresh Sound New Talent 2018)

Dave Scott - IN SEARCH OF HIPNESS (Steeplechase 2018)

Andrew Rathbun Large Ensemble - THE ATWOOD SUITES (Origin Arts 2017)

Eri Yamamoto Trio - LIFE (Aum Fidelity 2016)

David Ambrosio/Russ Meissner - MOMENTS IN TIME (SteepleChase 2016)

David Ambrosio - GONE (Fresh Sound New Talent 2014)

Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra - BLOOM (Nineteen Eight 2013)

Grupo Los Santos - Clave Heart (Origin Arts 2012); Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea (Deep Tone 2007)

40Twenty - 40Twenty (Yeah Yeah 2012)

George Schuller's Circle Wide -  Listen Both Ways (Playscape 2012); Like Before, Somewhat After (Playscape 2007); Round 'Bout Now (Playscape 2003)

Adriano Santos Quintet - In Session (2009)

Matt Renzi Trio - Rise and Shine (Three P's 2014); Happy Hour (Three P's 2011); Lunch Special (Quarter Tone 2008); The Cave (Fresh Sound New Talent 2005); Road to Angkor (Tone of a Pitch 2004)

Eri Yamaoto Trio - Firefly (AUM Fidelity 2013); In Each Day, Something Good (AUM Fidelity 2010); Redwoods (AUM Fidelity 2008); Cobalt Blue (Thirsty Ear 2006)

Sebastien Ammann Quartet - Samadhi (Fresh Sound New Talent 2013)

Paul Carlon Octet - La Rumba is a Lovesome Thing (ZOHO 2013); Other Tongues (Deep Tone 2006)

Eric Rasmussen's School of Tristano - School of Tristano, Vol. 1 & 2, 3 (Steeple Chase 2007-2008)

Clay Giberson Trio - Spaceton's Approach (Origin Arts 2008)

Vinnie Sperrazza Trio - Peak Inn (Fresh Sound New Talent 2008) 

Matt Steckler's Dead Cat Bounce - Chance Episodes (Cuneiform 2011)

Asuka Kakitani Orchestra - Bloom (Nineteen-Eight 2013)

4inObjects - 4inObjects (Yeah Yeah 2006)

Deanna Witkowski - Length of Days (Artist Share 2005)

Schumacher/Sanford Sound Assembly - Edge of the Mind (Beauport 2008)

Rob Garcia's SANGHA - Heart's Fire (Connection Works 2005)

Don Peretz Foremen - (Fresh Sound 2005)

Jamie Begian Big Band - Big Fat Grin (Innova 2010); Trance (2003)

Between Green - Tangents (RKM Music 2003)

5Six7 - Portas (Musiques Suisses 2001)



Nov 13-17 2019 | TBA
Eric Cheng Quartet
Taipei, Taiwan

Nov 4-11 2019 | TBA
Eri Yamamoto Trio
Japan Tour

Oct 26, 2019 | 8pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Quartet
Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts, San Francisco, CA

Oct 24, 2019 | 8pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Quartet
Barley Forge Brewing, Costa Mesa, CA

July 20 2019 | 7:00pm
George Schuller’s Circle Wide
New Mexico Jazz Festival, Albuquerque, NM

July 10 2019 | 7:00pm
George Schuller’s Circle Wide
Bar Bayeux, Brooklyn, NY


June 19 2019 | 10:30pm
Vito Dieterle Quartet
Little Branch, NY, NY

June 12 2019 | 7:00pm
BMI NY Jazz Composer’s Orchestra
Marjorie S.Deane Little Theatre,NY, NY

June 9 2019 | 3:00pm
Actual Trio
Barnstock, Woodstock, NY

June 7 2019 | 7:00pm
Actual Trio
Kimball Farms, Lenox, MA

June 4 2019 | 7:00pm
David Ambrosio Quartet
Halyards, Brooklyn, NY

June 1 2019 | 7:00pm
Eri Yamamoto Trio
Arthur’s Tavern, NY, NY

May 29 2019 | 10:30pm
Vito Dieterle Quartet
Little Branch, NY, NY

May 27 2019 | 8:00pm
Anders Nilsson Trio
Bar Lunatico, Brooklyn, NY

May 24 2019 | 7:30pm
Marious Double Trio
Tom Jazz, NY, NY

May 22 2019 | 9:30pm
John Snell Trio
Shapeshifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY

May 18 2019 | 7:30pm
Jostein Gulbrandsen
Bar Next Door, NY, NY

May 16 2019 | 7:00pm
Charlie Apicella Trio
Il Porto, Brooklyn, NY

May 4 2019 | 6:00pm
Anders Nilsson Trio
Barbes, Brooklyn, NY

May 1 2019 | 10:30pm
Matt Garrity Trio
Little Branch, NY, NY

May 1 2019 | 7:00pm
Peter Watrous Quartet
Blue Bird, Brooklyn, NY

April 28 2019 | 4:00pm
Matt Renzi Trio
SF Food & Wine Festival, San Francisco, CA

April 27 2019 | 8:00pm
Mohsen Namjoo
Sidney Goldstein Theatre, San Francisco, CA

April 11 2019 | 7:00pm
Marious Double Trio
Tom Jazz, NY, NY

April 10 2019 | 8:00pm
David Ambrosio Quintet
Bar Bayeux, Brooklyn, NY

Dec 4, 2018 | 7:30pm
David Ambrosio & Civil Disobedience
The Jazz Standard, NY, NY

Oct 18, 2018 | 8pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Quartet
Diablo Valley College, San Francisco, CA

Oct 21, 2018 | 7pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Quartet
The Soundroom, Oakland, CA

Oct 20, 2018 | 8pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Quartet
Bird & Beckett Jazz, San Francisco, CA

Oct 18, 2018 | 8pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Quartet
Barley Forge Brewing, Costa Mesa, CA

Oct 4, 2018 | 7:30pm
Dave Ambrosio Quartet
SMALLS Jazz Club, NY, NY

Aug 27, 2018 | 8:00pm
Dave Ambrosio Quartet
Quinn’s, Beacon, NY

May 21, 2018 | 8:00pm
Dave Ambrosio Trio
Sala Clamores, Madrid, Spain

May 19, 2018 | 8:00pm
Dave Ambrosio Trio
Haceria, Bilbao, Spain

May 17, 2018 | 8:00pm
Dave Ambrosio Trio
Bilbaina Jazz Club, Bilbao, Spain

May 16, 2018 | 8:00pm
Dave Ambrosio Trio
Rubicon, Santander, Spain

May 13, 2018 | 8:30pm
Dave Ambrosio Quartet
Cornelia Street Cafe, NY, NY

Dec 18, 2017 | 7:30pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Sextet
SMALLS Jazz Club, NY, NY

Oct 16, 2017 | 7pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Sextet
Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, CA

Oct 13, 2017 | 8pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Sextet
Cafe Pink House, San Jose, CA

Oct 12, 2017 | 7pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Sextet
Barley Forge Brewing, Costa Mesa, CA

Oct 8, 2017 | 4pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Sextet
Chez Haney, SanFrancisco, CA

Oct 7, 2017 | 7pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Sextet
California Jazz Conservatory, Berklee, CA

Oct 6, 2017 | 8pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Sextet
The Nash, Phoenix, AZ

Oct 6, 2017 | 2pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Sextet
Scottsdale College, Scottsdale, AZ

Oct 5, 2017 | 7pm
Dave Ambrosio/Russ Meissner Sextet
Sacred Grounds Jazz, Scottsdale, AZ 

Nov 28 2016 | 9:00pm
David Ambrosio/Russ Meissner "Moments In Time" CD Release 
QUINN'S, Beacon, NY

Nov 19 2016 | 9:00pm
Grupo Los Santos
Club Bonafide, New York, NY

Nov 2 2016 | 8:30pm
David Ambrosio Trio
Three's Brewing, Brooklyn, NY

Oct 4 2016 | 9:00pm
w/ Mike McGinnis Quintet
Korzo Konceptions, Brooklyn, NY

Sept 26 2016 | 8:30pm
w/ Eri Yamamoto Trio CD Release
Cornelia Street Cafe, New York, NY

Aug 25-27 2016 | 8:00pm
40Twenty Drawing Room Mini Residency
The Drawing Room, Brooklyn, New York

Aug 14 2016 | 8:30pm
David Ambrosio/Russ Meissner "Moments In Time" CD Release 
Cornelia Street Cafe, New York, NY

Aug 12 2016 | 6:00pm
w/ Mohsen Namjoo
TABESTOON Festival, Calgary, CN

July 27 2016 | 6:00pm
w/ Kenny Wessel
Lexington Hotel, New York, NY

July 13 2016 | 7:30pm
w/ George Coleman Octet
Jazz Standard, New York, NY

July 9 2016 | 9:30pm
Grupo Los Santos
Club Bonafide, New York, NY

June 25 2016 | 6:00pm
w/ Mohsen Namjoo
Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA

June 23 2016 | 9:00pm
w/ Loren Stillman Quintet
SMALLS, New York, NY

June 22 2016 | 7:30pm
w/ BMI Composer's Orchestra
Christ and St. Stevens Church, New York, NY

June 2 2016 | 7:00pm
w/ Bruce Barth
NY Athletic Club, New York, NY

April 28 2016

David Ambrosio Trio
Kulak Jazz, Baden, Switzerland

April 27 2016

David Ambrosio Trio
Bird's Eye Jazz, Basel, Switzerland

April 24 2016 | 8:30

David Ambrosio Trio
Cornelia Street Cafe, New York, NY

April 16,23 & 30 2016 | 6:30pm
w/ Anders Nilsson Barbes April Residency
Barbes, Brooklyn, New York

April 17 2016 | 7:00pm
w/ Eri Yamamoto Trio 
An Die Musik, Baltimore, MD

April 11 2016 | 9:00pm
w/ Loren Stillman Quintet
Bar Lunatico, Brooklyn, NY

Mar 30 2016 | 7:30pm
Grupo Los Santos
Club Bonafide, New York, NY

Mar 4-7 2015

David Ambrosio Trio Spain Tour 

Mar 4 - Taller De Musicos Gijon, Spain
Mar 5 - Bilbiana Jazz Club, Bilbao, Spain
Mar 6- Bilbiana Jazz Club, Bilbao, Spain
Mar 7 - Rubicon Jazz Bar, Santander, Spain




Jazz of the 1960’s

Mondays 6:00-8:00 

The focus of this class is in learning the "standard" jazz repertoire, as well as to gain a deeper understanding of the roots of these compositions. Thees classes are performance based and are meant to help the student improve their ability to create their own improvisations on this material as well as to gain the interaction experience of a professional jazz ensemble, while examining the distinctions between the vocal/song and jazz/instrumental traditions.

All instruments welcome. Drums, piano, amps and microphones are provided. You just need your instrument!!

Please feel free to contact me with questions or to get more info. 

Every Monday 6:00-8:00 unless otherwise noted.


Art of the Jam Session

Tuesdays 7:30-9:30

The focus of this class in essence is to recreate the NYC Jam session playing experience and explore all the typical encounters related to the typical “live” jam session environment. Consequently this class is structured a little different than the other more theme based or conceptual classes listed here, generally creating a class where more and different material is played in each class. While there is still an evolution of the learning experience as the classes progress, it is based on developing the skills to navigate and function in the jam session “experience” itself. The material and musical concepts covered relate to the challenges and conventions of the public Jazz jam session which in turn help prepare students for that very experience.

All instruments welcome. Drums, piano, amps and microphones are provided. You just need your instrument!!

Please feel free to contact me with questions or to get more info. 

Every Tuesday 7:30-9:30  unless otherwise noted.

Bata Drumming Workshop

Same location but with flexible scheduling based on individual needs.

Please check to understand more of what the class is about.

Class Policy/Payment (for Bata Drumming Workshop only)

Class dates are decided together between all participating students and myself for each upcoming month pertaining to each class and afterwards confirmed by all. At that point they can be paid at a rate of $40 per class online using Paypal or Venmo, or at the first class in cash or check, for all the classes that were decided. After that point, if you can't make a class you can get a sub of your choice which gives you the opportunity to recoup all, or some, of your money as well as others the opportunity to try the class. The other option is to take part in any class you want to attend at the walk-in rate of $50 per class. If I can't make a class I will first try to reschedule the class in the same given week or, if that is not possible for all involved, the student can decide if they want credit for the following month or to issue a refund for what was paid for.

All classes can be paid though the Paypal link on the left




94 9th Street, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(9th St between 2nd Ave & Smith St.)



F line subway to 4th Ave Station or R line subway to 9th Street Station.
B61Bus to 9th Street and 2nd Ave, B57 Bus to Smith ad 9th St or B103 Bus to 9th St.


Civil Disobedience Live @ The Jazz Standard, NYC


 Watch more videos



David Ambrosio is a musician who has spent much of his professional life traveling all over the world performing and teaching. While he has had some unique travel experiences, one of the most influential in his musical development happened in November 2001 when David had the opportunity to perform in Cuba with one of his collaborative projects, Grupo Los Santos, as well as Max Pollak's Rumbatap.

During that one week stay they had the opportunity to work with many Afro Cuban folkloric music and dance ensembles in addition to attending a three day Tambor festival at the Teatro Bertol Brecht in Havana. Awestruck by the musical depth, culture and spirituality that exists in the African heritage of the Cuban people, his interest in Afro/Cuban Bata drumming began.

Consequently, for the past 13 years David has been studying AfroCuban Bata drumming. His main teacher and mentor in the art of bata drumming is master drummer Carlos Gomez who, in addition to being an accomplished hand drummer, is a high priest of the Yoruba religion called a Babalawo or Priest of Ifa. David has also studied with other great masters of the bata including Miguel Bernal and Carlos Aldama.

Through years of training and intense study the Babalawo uses the ancient spiritual divination system of Ifa to assist people in finding, understanding and processing life until they experience spiritual wisdom as a part of their daily experience. As one continues to learn the intricate rhythms of the Bata drum you come to realize that it is only a small part of the beauty and transcendence of this sacred music.

David feels very fortunate to have a mentor and other great drummers to give him the teachings of this aural tradition and spiritual practice which allows him to be a small part of the fraternal brotherhood of the Bata.



"Ambrosio possesses an unerring sense of groove that's similar to [Dave] Holland's..."

- John Kelman, All About Jazz


"Dave Ambrosio is a wealth of musical inventiveness in both technique and note selection"

- Chris Imrie, The Guelph Mercury


"Ambrosio has sensitivity to dynamic concerns and an ability to react instantly"

- Chris Kelsey, Jazz Times


"Ambrosio stretches and bends like a rubber man…"

- Rex Butters, All About Jazz (Chicago)


"This bassist is a powerful melodist who refuses to reside in the back of an ensemble by the sheer strength of his full-frontal polyrhythmic attack"

- Raul Da Gama, Latin Jazz Network


"Bassist David Ambrosio once again demonstrates his keen melodic sensibility and propensity for surefooted commentary”

- John Sharpe, New York City Jazz Record


"Ambrosio's ability to provide harmony and/or counterpoint to Renzi, as well as serve as rhythmic anchor with Meissner, act as constant reminders that understated suggestion can often be more powerful than overt declaration"


"Ambrosio may show considerable contrapuntal intuition on the three-part closer, Three Stories, but he balances that with a more definitive groove on both the up tempo Faces and Places and the hypnotic, Indian-inflected To the Cave, which feels like a calmer version of John Zorn's Masada Quartet."

- John Kellman, All About Jazz

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