Jazz trombonist Dave Scott has lived in San Diego since the late 1950s. Having started on ukulele, the Grossmont High School graduate spent nine years playing with Fro Brigham, as well as working with locals like Daniel Jackson, Glen Fisher, and the late Fattburger frontman Hollis Gentry.
Scott is best known locally as a meteorologist and feature reporter for KUSI-TV, and his music has been heard frequently on KUSI’s Good Morning, San Diego. Music, however, has always been the affable weatherman's raison d’etre. Growing up in Hawaii, he studied the instrument and, with his savings from a paper route, bought his first trombone at age twelve from Louis Armstrong bandmate Trummy Young.
“At fifteen,” he says, “I won a scholarship to study with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. I bought all the Urbie Green and Bill Watrous records I could find. Bill is now one of my best friends in the world, and I’ve been lucky enough to do concerts with him in recent years.”
Originally, Scott studied to be a jazz musician. “But, as you know, jazz is tough to make a living at. So, it was for economic reasons that I eventually found myself as a meteorologist.”
His band Monsoon began a nearly decade-long residency at Croce’s Jazz Bar downtown 2003, and he also fronts Dave Scott & the New Slide Quartet featuring Latin music piano virtuoso Irving Flores (who also gigs with Gilbert Castellanos), and the rhythm section from Fattburger: drummer Kevin Koch and bassist Mark Hunter. Flores has been the musical director for Latin superstars Celia Cruz and Armando Manzanero, Koch was a member of Peter Sprague’s Dance of the Universe, and Hunter played with the Bruce Cameron/Hollis Gentry Quartet. Koch and Hunter were handpicked by legendary composer Burt Bacharach to play at his Old Globe production Some Lovers.
Scott has also been known to sing, though he says this only came about by coercion, while gigging with the San Diego jazz pioneer Fro Brigham’s band. “One night, he told the audience, we have a surprise for you. He then had me get up and sing one. I knew the words to ‘On a Clear Day,’ so we did that. It seemed so natural and the crowd response was so positive and enthusiastic that I’ve kept it up.”