A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Grammy Award-winning bassist David L.Pulphus has studied the acoustic and electric bass from a young age. David’s early musical training in the church, combined with years of formal jazz training, has enabled him to produce a distinctive, modern sound. David is now a resident of New Orleans and serves as the Interim Director of Arts Education Alliance of New Orleans.
In 1993, David joined the University of New Orleans to study with jazz pianist and instructor Ellis Marsalis. David soon became a member of the Ellis Marsalis Group, performing both in local jazz clubs and with the University of New Orleans Summer European Jazz Ensemble. During this period, David also performed with the Crescent City Symphony and the Gulf
In April 1995, David joined the prestigious Terence Blanchard Group, which tours extensively in Europe, South America, Canada, Japan and the United States. David made his debut recording on Terence Blanchard’s Grammy-nominated CD, The Heart Speaks and performed on several of Terence Blanchard’s soundtracks and film scores as well as with the Terence Blanchard Group.
Between 1997 and 2001, David was presented the “Jazz All-Stars Award” by New Orleans magazine, was the recipient of the Louisiana Division Art Award and was invited to become a member of the legendary drummer Elvin Jones’ group Jazz Machine with whom he has toured nationally and internationally, and appeared in several documentaries.
In 2005, David L. Pulphus recorded a DVD with jazz icon, composer, arranger and tenor saxophonist, Benny Golson. This project was sponsored by The Artists House, a nonprofit foundation with the mission to assist musicians in both their careers, and in their efforts to monetize their love for music. In 2006, David L. Pulphus was awarded the “Higher Ground Relief Grant” and the’ DHL Advancing Micro-Entrepreneur Grant”.
To add to these accomplishments, David has performed with such internationally acclaimed artists as Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Branford Marsalis, Frank Morgan, Kenny Baron, Mulgrew Miller, Freddie Hubbard, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Nancy King, Davell Crawford, Ledisi, Donald Harrison Jr., Roy Hargrove, Cassandra Wilson, Tony Bennett, Ivan Lins, James Moody, Joshua Redman, Harry Connick Jr. Mark Whitfield, Alvin Batiste, Paulinho Da Costa, Oscar Castro Neves, Russell Gunn, Winard Harper, Steve Turre, Nicholas Payton.
Mr. Pulphus is a founding member, toured and recorded with the Grammy award-winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Inc. (NOJO) and in 2007 was invited to serve on the Advisory Board and teach at The New Orleans String Project, (NOSP) a 501(c)3, whose mission is to enrich the lives of youth in our community by making high-quality stringed instrument instruction accessible to inner-city New Orleans children ages 6 – 14.
In 2009, Mr. Pulphus was the recipient of the 2009-2010 MusicianCorps Fellowship, a program issued by Music National Service.
Since 2010 Mr. Pulphus continues to serve as a voting-member of The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences [The Grammy’s] In 2016-18 Mr. Pulphus was appointed to, and served on, the Community Advisory Board of WWOZ.
In 2017 Mr Pulphus was appointed to serve on the Governance Council of The New Orleans Arts Education Alliance (NOAEA) a local non-profit organization in partnership with Kennedy Center’s ANY GIVEN CHILD initiative.
In 2021 was appointed to co-chair the Governance Council of the Alliance (NOAEA) for which he served until Aug of 2022 when he was appointed Interim Director.
Mr. Pulphus is currently composing and arranging his debut CD, which is slated to be released in Spring of 2023. David L. Pulphus’ noteworthy accomplishments continue to impress both music critics and audiences alike, and have ranked him as one of New Orleans’ most sought after jazz musicians.