SDSU percussion lecture David Whitman studied for his doctorate at the University of Southern Mississippi, as well as attending the University of Wisconsin and Kansas State University, before relocating to San Diego in 2010 to finish his dissertation.
“I’ve moved around a lot. Before I came here, I played on a cruise ship and lived in Arizona, and I just wanted to settle down. And my parents knew that I’d be writing this paper, so they kind of encouraged me to come out here. After I got my doctorate, I already had a job at San Diego State. I’ve also taught drum line there for a few years. I’ve got this broad base as a performer and teacher, and I’m kind of this utility percussion guy. Over the years, I’ve taught jazz vibraphone, jazz drum set, and classical percussion. I’m really trained as an orchestral percussionist, but at the same time, I was playing drums in bars from the age of 17 to 24 every night, maybe ten gigs a week.”
He has played locally with everyone from the San Diego Symphony to Gilbert Castellanos. His Soul Flow quintet has featured Derek Cannon on trumpet, Francisco Torres on trombone, Hans Chamberlain on organ, and Justin Grinnell on bass.
His solo album Soul Flow was released in 2021 via Ropeadope Records. “I try to have an aesthetic with my own albums that could appeal to people who might not have even listened to jazz before. My hope is that something catches their ear, and they get it right away.”