Bringing together Jazz, Hip Hop, Soul and R&B

Dave Milne Bio

8 years ago, Dave Milne wasn’t even sure he’d be playing music at all, let alone putting the finishing touches on his debut as a jazz saxophonist and composer. Through a life changing journey that has taken many twists, turns and unexpected detours the 30 year-old Portland, OR- based artist has arrived- with a Steely Dan, Soulive and OutKast meets Stan Getz and David Sanborn style that is leaving jazz and industry heads bobbing in his wake.

Simply put, Dave Milne is bringing the bounce back to jazz. Mixing Hip Hop heavy beats and production with exciting chord progressions, memorable melodies and brilliant, soulful saxophone playing, Milne has created a sound that truly separates itself from the crowd and yet remains accessible to jazz, R&B and Hip Hop lovers across the spectrum.

His debut album, called “Present Tense,” contains 13 fresh, funktified tracks. At home on traditional & contemporary jazz radio, the genre bending tunes are salient enough for film and TV scores as well as jawdropping live shows. All the songs, except the Mongo Santamaria classic “Afro Blue” (which was newly arranged by Milne in 5/4 time), were written and arranged by the Seattle native. Recorded in Portland, OR at Kung Fu Bakery and engineered and co-produced by Bob Stark (Tom Grant, Dan Balmer, McKinley), the record is slated for mastering in early November with Brian “Big Bass” Gardener (OutKast, Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Janet Jackson, Snoop Dog, 50 Cent) in Los Angeles. From the undeniable melodic intensity of “Soul Bop” to the advanced harmonic sensibility of “You Pea Ess” and the delicate balladry of “Solace,” Milne’s unique vision and artistry are only surpassed, perhaps, by how he arrived there.

As a jazz performance major at DePaul University in Chicago, Milne spent 8-10 hours a day practicing, working hard to fulfill his musical dreams. And he was well on his way. He played saxophone for groups all over the city from the House of Blues, Park West, and Schubas to the Double Door and the Lincoln Park Zoo Summer Concert Series.

The future looked bright. By his junior year, however, severe Scoliosis and his rigorous performance and practice schedule had taken its toll, setting off a series of painful setbacks that eventually forced him to put down the saxophone indefinitely. He was devastated.

When Milne moved to Portland, OR in 2000, he was focused on two things: healing and eventually playing music again. Over the next 4 years, he would slowly nurse himself back to health with a combination of meditation, exercise, chiropractic work and patience. Developing a technique of low impact playing, he methodically began to retrain himself to play the saxophone.

By mid 2005 Milne had made more progress than anyone had ever anticipated. His goal of playing the saxophone professionally once more was becoming reality. He now had a full docket of students to whom he was teaching his newly developed saxophone method and was sitting in with several groups around town.

Nearly 7 years after his debilitating setback, it was once again time to set his sights on a new challenge- completing an album project. After months of writing, arranging, practice, recording and preparation, he has almost completed his goal. As Milne and team move forward on shopping the record and building buzz for the project, he continues teaching and playing in the Portland area.

  • Member Since: 2006
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