David Arnay began his career in Ithaca, New York, where he first attended college during the late ‘70s. He became involved in that enlightened upstate town’s vibrant music community, eventually recruited into the popular and eclectic Zobo Funn Band featuring guitar wizard David Torn. After moving to the L.A. area Arnay dove into the local scene, meeting and collaborating with A-list jazz players including guitarist Phil Upchurch, saxophonist Bob Sheppard, and drummer Peter Erskine.
A significant mentor during Arnay’s early L.A. years was tenor saxophonist and former Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock sideman Bennie Maupin, who brought David into a quintet which included Alphonso Johnson on bass… “an amazing band and an inspirational experience” that included development of David’s work as a composer. Their collaboration continues with a June 2017 performance at the Arroyo Seco Weekend festival. With encouragement from Maupin, Arnay finished his bachelor’s degree at CalState L.A., and went on to earn his master’s in jazz studies at USC. He joined the USC faculty in 1999 and continues to teach there as a full time lecturer.
With three CDs released (link below) and a busy performance schedule that includes a solo shift each Wednesday at Arroyo Chop House and a piano/bass duo every Friday at Parkway Grill, David’s musical contributions to the community continue.