Memphis based multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger David Collins has always been drawn to the experimental side of music, creating sounds based around texture, color, thematic development, and interplay. Collins began playing drum set and piano at the age of 12 by playing standards and classic country tunes alongside his grandpa Aubrey Morris (pianist for Eddie Bond). Collins’ house was a hub for jam sessions and he quickly picked up other instruments, including guitar and bass. By the age of 15 he was performing weekly at a local restaurant and learning to read music in the school band.
Collins graduated with a B.A. in Jazz and Studio Performance from the University of Memphis in 2017 where he studied under Tim Goodwin, Sam Shoup, Jack Cooper, and Joe Restivo. In 2019 the Urban Arts Commission of Memphis enlisted Collins and Khari Wynn (Public Enemy’s musical director) to compose and perform a piece of music for their ‘Revisiting’ program. The same year, Collins received a grant to arrange and perform a concert of music written by Memphis-based jazz luminaries.
Collins has had two albums recorded under his leadership added to the Memphis Public library’s Memphis Sound Connection and works frequently as a frontman, sideman, and educator. He is the band leader for the bands Frog Squad, Freak Squid, and Stroke Photos, hosts the long-standing Sunday night jazz jam at the Cove in Memphis, and teaches at Memphis Music Academy. In 2022, he started 2722, an original sci-fi/ambient show on WYXR, which airs Sundays at 10pm CST.