In exceedingly high demand as a cutting edge trombonist as well as an internationally-renown producer, composer, orchestrator and “arranger of the first-class” (Harvey Siders, JazzTimes), Doug Beavers has become known for a meticulous attention to quality and his “unsurpassed work ethic” (Jim Harrington, The Concert Blog) in his music. These defining qualities have recently earned him a Grammy® award for his work on Latin legend Eddie Palmieri’s star-studded release Listen Here (2006), as well as the opportunity to perform, tour, record and collaborate with world-class musicians including Eddie Palmieri (La Perfecta II, Ritmo Caliente, Listen Here), Rosemary Clooney (Sentimental Journey, The Last Concert), Mingus Big Band, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Arturo Sandoval, Brian Culbertson, Pete Escovedo and countless others.
Doug Beavers decided to dedicate his life to music upon turning down a full scholarship to attend the University of California, Davis to study Electrical Engineering. On a chance hearing of John Coltrane’s Crescent on the radio, Beavers pulled off the road that lead to UC Davis and made a literal and figurative U-Turn. The next day, he was accepted to California State University, East Bay (formally Hayward) and would go on to earn his bachelor’s degree in music, studying classical trombone with San Francisco Opera bass trombonist Dave Ridge and jazz arranging with renown arranger Dave Eshelman. Feeling the need to expand his musical scope further, he set his sights on establishing a career in New York City.
Beavers auditioned for and was admitted to the Manhattan School of Music, being accepted into the studio of jazz trombonist Conrad Herwig and later shifting his focus on studio arranging and orchestration with GRP® arranger/producer Mike Abene. Through Abene’s teachings, Beavers expanded his compositional palette to include scoring for symphony orchestras and film. His study of orchestration soon earned him the opportunity to fulfill several symphonic commissions, including a Frank Sinatra tribute with the Florida Orchestra and a selection featured by the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra in a concert with Rosemary Clooney. This concert was recorded as The Last Concert (Concord), and was released posthumously in 2003. The live album earned a Grammy® nomination, one of four that Doug Beavers has received in his career to date.
Musicians in the region quickly became aware of Beavers’ skill on his instrument and his musical versatility. Upon earning his master’s degree in composition from the Manhattan School of Music, Beavers found himself amongst many opportunities for performing, composing and arranging, among them arranging and touring with the Mingus Big Band and earning a chance recommendation by Conrad Herwig to collaborate with 9-time Grammy winner Eddie Palmieri.
Declaring that “La Perfecta II was born from the chance opportunity of Doug Beavers’ diligent effort to recover the music that had long been since retired….for the efforts of Mr. Beavers, the new millennium finds me truly grateful” (liner notes from La Perfecta II), Eddie Palmieri would call on Beavers for a dream opportunity to serve as his lead trombonist, arranger and frequent collaborator. In this role, Beavers at a young age entered “the big leagues” of music, touring all over the world and performing in international musical festivals in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Graz, Umbria, The Hague, Marciac, Luxembourg, Barcelona, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Morocco, Martinique, Newport, Monterey, Hollywood, and San Francisco. Beavers was also able to perform and arrange for a special Eddie Palmieri tribute in Carnegie Hall and was given the great honor to arrange and conduct an orchestra of more than 40 for the Lincoln Center debut of Eddie Palmieri’s “Afro-World Suite” during a 2004 tribute to his brother Charlie. Beavers would go on to record and arrange for three albums with the master musician, two of which were nominated for Grammys and one which won the Grammy for “Best Latin Jazz Album” in 2006.
To pursue his own creative vision and conception of music, he established his production company, Doug Beavers Productions™, which was soon called on to produce the recent studio effort Jazz, Baby!. For the project, Beavers composed 11 original arrangements of classic kids’ tunes and scored them for a 20+ member jazz orchestra consisting of orchestral brass, woodwinds, mallets, percussion and a multi-tracked vocal choir. The production was then tracked at George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound and at Capitol Studios in Hollywood where Beavers worked closely with multi-Grammy winning engineer Leslie Ann Jones to ensure that his musical vision for the project would be realized. The production received wide critical acclaim, with Allaboutjazz.com reviewer Jack Bowers writing “…Beavers reaches out to [kids] without pretense or condescension, he doesn't play "down" to toddlers and children, he raises them "up" by clothing nearly a dozen nursery rhymes and songs in clever orchestral arrangements that would please even the hippest adult listeners."
His latest project, his debut solo release, features an all-NYC cast of musicians scored for a jazz nonet. The album, entitled “Two Shades of Nude”, features such NYC stalwarts as Cuban drumming sensation Dafnis Prieto, one-time Miles Davis drummer Tony Moreno and jazz trumpet virtuoso Alex Sipiagin. The album is set to release worldwide (Europe, UK, US, S. America, Asia) Sept. 23, 2010 on Origin Records.
Always a firm believer in musical advocacy, Doug Beavers has given clinics and masterclasses at many different institutions, including Fresno State University, Cal State East Bay, Los Medanos College, the Jazzschool, (Berkeley, CA) the University of Washington and the Coalition School for Social Change in New York City. He has also become adjunct professor of music at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, CA and has recently joined the music faculty as Professor of Jazz Trombone at California State University, East Bay.