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Dave Lisik

Composer, Performer, Jazz Composer


Wellington-based Canadian composer and trumpeter, Dr. David Lisik was Coordinator of Jazz Composition at the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington 2010-2024. Dave’s diverse portfolio of compositions and recordings includes 500+ works for small and large jazz and classical ensembles as well as electronic and electroacoustic projects. Dave’s music has been performed or recorded by Alex Sipiagin, Chris Potter, Donny McCaslin, Dick Oatts, Tim Hagans, Scott Wendholt, Seamus Blake, Charles Pillow, Will Vinson, Dave Kikoski, Bob Sheppard, Luis Bonilla, John Fedchock, Boris Kozlov, Andy McKee, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Eric Harland, Matt Wilson, and Donald Edwards.

Recent Work

New releases of Dave’s on the SkyDeck Music label include Relativity featuring Alex Sipiagin, Chris Potter, Will Vinson, and Eric Harland; Hitch/Slap with Donny McCaslin, Luis Bonilla and Jeff 'Tain' Watts; and Machaut Man and a Superman Hat_, featuring Alex Sipiagin, Donny McCaslin, Dave Kikoski, Boris Kozlov, and Donald Edwards.


As a trumpeter, Dave has performed and recorded as a member of the Jazz Orchestra of the Delta (Memphis, Tennessee), Dave Lisik Orchestra, New Zealand Jazz Orchestra, Rodger Fox Wellington Jazz Orchestra, Duke Wellington Orchestra, Ron Paley Big Band, Memphis Jazz Orchestra, Memphis King Beez, and jazz orchestras at the University of Northern Iowa, University of Memphis, University of Mary, and University of Manitoba. His other freelance trumpet work includes the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Bismarck Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Brass Quintet, and many solo performances. Recent Wellignton-based jazz projects include the Birth of the Cool Ensemble, Pawn Farm, Zoochosis and Dave Lisik Quintet.

Teaching and School

Dave is a trustee of the New Zealand Jazz Foundation and has co-directed the New Zealand Youth Jazz Orchestra since 2011. He also coordinates the New Zealand National Jazz Workshops, NZ Jazz Educator Workshops and is the founder of the NZed Jazz Orchestra and the Duke Wellington Orchestra. At the New Zealand School of Music Dave founded and produces the annual NZSM Jazz Festival and created and teaches the school's first course in Jazz Pedagogy. 

Before moving to New Zealand, Dr. Lisik was Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee where he created the African Drumming Ensemble (LOCADE) and the LeMoyne-Owen Records label, producing four CDs of student work.

Dave completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition with a Jazz Emphasis at the University of Memphis (Tennessee, USA), a Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Northern Iowa (USA), and Bachelor of Science in Instrumental Music Education at the University of Mary (USA).

Dave’s compositions are available through SkyDeck Music Publishing, UNC Jazz Press and his book of 24 Marvin Stamm jazz trumpet solos is published by Charles Colin.

Composed (33)

Ancient Astronaut Theory

for taonga puoro and electronics, 52m

Christoph Waltz

for jazz trio

Coming Through Slaughter - The Bolden Legend

for jazz orchestra, 1h 8m 30s


for improviser and electronics


for improviser and electronics

Donated by Cantor Fitzgerald

for jazz quintet


for trumpet and electronics

Fate and the Processor

for improviser and electronics

Habitual Consciousness

for improviser and electronics

Hurricane Ophelia

for jazz quintet and electronic media

Intro to Playing Defense

for improviser and electronics


for taonga puoro, bass, piano, tenor saxophone and electronics (2), 56m


for jazz trio

Latest Stories

for improviser and electronics

Playing Defense

for improviser and electronics

Rail 16

for mixed ensemble, 49m

Refraction V

for trumpet and electronics

Serious As

for improviser and electronics

The Curse of the Queen's Diamond

for improvising chamber ensemble

Walkabout - A Place for Visions

for solo trumpet and tenor saxophone with jazz orchestra

Arranged (1)