David Picton lives in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan, New York City. He is a jazz performer, and a composer of both jazz and contemporary classical music. He teaches drums, piano, and composition, and runs ensemble workshops with his students.
Originally from Watchung, New Jersey, David started out on drums as a child, studying with local teacher Frank Marapodi. He then progressed to studying with the great Joe Morello in his high school years. During this time, he also began studying jazz and classical piano with Keith Macdonald, and composition with James Fagas. This led him to attend Mannes College of Music, in New York City, from which he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in composition.
By that time he already had established himself as a professional working drummer playing clubs, concerts, and various special events in New York City and the upper East Coast area. Soon he began to work as a pianist as well, with various bands, and accompanying singers. Over the years, besides working as a sideman in bands, he has also led bands of his own, in which he has performed many of his original jazz compositions. Besides performing locally, he has also performed in Japan, Africa, England, and California, and has been teaching music all throughout his professional career.
Mr. Picton has performed with well known jazz musicians such as Larry Coreyell, John Hicks, John Pisano, Jack Wilkens, Mark Sherman, Don Hahn, Rodney Jones, Randy Johnston, Jeff Andrews, Patience Higgins, Jay Collins, Bob Mover, Art Lillard, and many more. He has also had jazz compositions of his performed by some of these people.
He has performed in such NYC clubs as Birdland, the Zinc Bar, the Jackson Room, Cleopatra's Needle, Fat Cat, The Garage, The Shrine, Swing 46, and many more. He appears on several CD's, with artists such as Art Lillard, Miki Hayama, Bob Gallo,Yoshiki Miura, and Linda Ipanema.
As a composer, Mr. Picton has composed many chamber works, a few orchestral works, and countless jazz compositions, pop songs, and children songs. He has had numerous live performances of these works, as well as recordings released. He is a member of New York Composers Circle, as well as Eclectix, another New York based composers organization, and the Music Heritage Jazz Collective.
He was recently commissioned to compose a trio for oboe, piano, and cello (Oboe Trio Fantasy), which was performed twice in Taipei, Taiwan, in July of 2023. Both his woodwind quintets ("Music for the Birds", and "A Pandemic Era for Change"), have received numerous performances in New Brunswick, Canada, and he has had his Redwood Prelude and Fugue for Organ performed in Moscow, Russia. He has been commissioned by Central Park Brass Quintet in New York City, the Girl Scouts of America, and has collaborated with video artists to compose and record music for environmental videos.
He also has released a total of 5 CD's under his own name, including 2 jazz CD's, one classical CD of his original compositions, and one Children's CD. In addition to that, he has co-produced one double CD, called Sun and Moon, with his wife Emiko Hayashi, also a jazz pianist and composer.
Mr. Picton has had radio airplay of his music on WBAI in New York City, as well as on WPKN, in Bridgeport, CT., and overseas, on Estonia Radio. He has also performed live on PBS Channel 13 Television.