David Ladd began his musical career as a musician and band leader while studying music at San Jose State University. His early bands; The Cavaliers, The Black Watch, and South Bay Experimental Flash performed on the same bill with some of the most influential bands of that era such as: Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Credence Clearwater, Sons of Champlin, Santana, Chicago, Tower of Power, Pablo Cruise, Ike and Tina Turner, Sly and the Family Stone, Malo, Pete Escovedo, Cream, Moby Grape, and more. David Ladds bands were one of the very first to perform what was then called Jazz-Rock, later named Fusion and, finally Contemporary Jazz. Davids bands also performed at jazz festivals sharing the stage with some of the greatest names in jazz such as: Benny Goodman, Dave Brubeck, Chuck Mangione, Cal Tjader, Modern Jazz Quartet, Ramsey Lewis, Grover Washington, Jr., The Jazz Crusaders, Yellowjackets, Kenny Rankin, Hubert Laws, Kenny G., Woody Herman, Ray Charles, Hiroshima, Maynard Ferguson, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Dave Koz, to name a few
During the early 80s, David led a band called David Ladd & Videojazz, which recorded two albums and received an Emmy for a P.B.S. Television Special. The record of this P.B.S. Special called David Ladd & Videojazz , in Concert at the Montgomery has just been released as a cd by Laddjazz Records. During this period, David recorded with Rosemary Clooney, Cal Tjader, Ray Brown, Warren Vache, Scott Hamilton, and others for Concord Jazz Records.
For the past 15 years, David Ladd has been one of the Bay Areas premiere music educators. He was named Teacher-oftheYear for the San Jose Unified School District in 1990. This was the first and only time this honor was given to a music teacher. David Ladd is the Music and Camp Director for the San Jose Jazz Societys Summer Jazz Camp Jazz Goes to College. From 1990 to 1999, David Ladd was the Host and Musical Director for KEZR F.M. & 94.5 The Bays Way Cool Sunday Morning Jazz radio show, which was rated by Arbitron the #1 radio show of any kind on Sunday Mornings and the highest rated contemporary jazz radio show in the San Jose area. David is currently teaching music at Buchser Middle School in the Santa Clara Unified School District, where his concert and jazz band continuously receive the highest honors at contests and festivals. His jazz bands also record a cd each year. Two of the cds Blues in the Night and A Jazz, Déjà vu, and me in Disneyland are currently available from Jazzladd Records.
David has been the leader of David Ladds Dowtown Allstars with Michael Renwick. which is a contemporary jazz band, made up of some of the premiere studio and club musicians in the Bay Area, which just released its 2nd cd entitled Uptown on Jazzladd Records. The bands 1st cd. Downtown , was in the top 10 and in heavy rotation on over 65 radio stations around the country.
David Ladds Downtown Allstars perform widely at jazz and other festivals in Northern California as well as weddings, corporate events, and private functions throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area.