David Nakazono is a sought after musician and teacher in Chicago and beyond. The opportunity to study with Mark Ridenour (Chicago Symphony), Neal Berntsen (Pittsburgh Symphony), and Esteban Batallán (Chicago Symphony) at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University convinced David to abandon life in beautiful Santa Barbara, California and trek across the country to the City by the Lake, Chicago. Since graduating with his Masters of Music in Orchestral Studies from Roosevelt University in 2019, David Nakazono has won positions with the Peoria Symphony, Wisconsin Philharmonic, Lakeview Orchestra, South Loop Symphony Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He performs with several local and national ensembles including the Illinois Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, National Repertory Orchestra, Connexion Band, and is a substitute with the Chicago Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
In addition to performing, David Nakazono has an independent and entrepreneurial spirit that has led him to embark on several ventures throughout his career. Currently, he is a founding member of the up and coming Lakeshore Brass, which has performed in virtual recitals and released recordings throughout the 2020 shutdown of music performance. Lakeshore Brass has been featured in multiple recitals for Project 88 Berwyn, a non-profit organization dedicated to music equity and providing music education to those who may not be able to afford it. One of David’s past successful ventures includes founding and presiding over the Pops Orchestra at UCSB, a student-run organization dedicated to providing a performance outlet and musical community for music majors, non-music majors, and community members to come together and perform music that they choose to perform. The ensemble has continued to grow and perform music of varying genres including pop music, classical music, and music from movies and video games to full houses of UCSB students, professors, parents, and members of the surrounding community, since David graduated in 2017.
David Nakazono’s musical journey began as an infant when his parents handed him a trumpet mouthpiece to play with during car rides. To their surprise, baby David didn’t just play with it as a toy, rather, he buzzed on it (just as he now does every day)! His parents were both musicians (trumpeters in fact) and met when they sat as co-principals in their high school band. As musicians, David’s parents knew piano was the best way to learn music and so David started taking piano lessons from his mother when he was 6 years old. The trumpet reintroduced itself to David when he was 11 years old as he aspired to join the middle school band. Music, the trumpet, and David have been inseparable since.
David’s musical path was not always determined and straightforward. A young David Nakazono had not recognized music as a viable career path; in fact, he had not realized it existed! So, David chose to pursue a degree in Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It wasn’t until his junior year, while researching graduate schools for physics that David realized there was only one future he could envision: Music. In 2017, David Nakazono graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with two degrees, a Bachelors of Arts in Physics and a Bachelors of Music in Trumpet Performance.
As a teacher, having developed a background in both academic study as well as music performance during his time at UCSB, David Nakazono is able to develop his skills as an educator across multiple fields and disciplines. Teaching complex subjects like Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry, allows David Nakazono to further refine and develop how he teaches music performance and music theory from a broader perspective. In teaching music, David Nakazono pulls from his experiences as a professional musician, as a student of countless teachers across the US and the World, and as a life-long learner to inspire and motivate his students.