Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Sletten, Dave


Sletten, Dave, saxophones, woodwinds; b. Minneapolis, 20 April 1955; d. 18 September 2000 from  cancer.

Sletten's jazz interest began in earnest when he became a founding member of the Wolverines Classic Jass Orchestra in 1973, transcribing and performing jazz of the 20's from groups such as Fletcher Henderson, Clarence Williams, and Duke Ellington. Around 1974 David Sletten contacted legendary trumpeter Jabbo Smith (1904-91) in Milwaukee to perform with the Wolverines. This led to several recording dates and general rediscovery of Smith, including a playing/acting role on Broadway in "One Mo' Time." In 1982 he became the first Jazz studies graduate from the University of Minnesota and stayed on to complete his masters in Theory/Composition. He did records and touring with the Artie Shaw orchestra and performing with jazz greats such as Charlie Byrd, Dave Samuels, Bobby Broom, Gary Foster, Butch Thompson, and Jack McDuff. As a Yamaha artist/clinician he performed with high school, college, and professional groups, adjudicates festivals, and gives clinics on woodwinds and jazz. His interest in jazz history led to his producing and co-hosting "Twin Cities Jazz Remembered" on KBEM FM and his co-writing a book of the same name on a grant from the Minnesota Historical Society.

Black Moon (1995); Red Dragon (1996)

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