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Stuart Dempster

Professor Emeritus
Stuart Dempster


Stuart Dempster, sound gatherer, trombonist, composer, didjeriduist, et al, and professor emeritus at University of Washington, has recorded for numerous labels including Important, Taiga, and New Albion. The latter includes “In the Great Abbey of Clement VI at Avignon”—a "cult classic"—and “Underground Overlays from the Cistern Chapel” consisting of music sources for a 1995 Merce Cunningham Dance Company commission. Grants are several, including being a Fulbright Scholar to Australia (1973), receiving an NEA composer award (1978), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1981). Dempster’s landmark book The Modern Trombone: A Definition of Its Idioms was published in 1979 (reprint edition 1994).* Commendations include Golden Ear Awards: Deep Listening (2006) and Earshot Jazz (2009); International Trombone Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2010). As a founding member of Deep Listening Band, he produced the first three recordings as well as three more recent recordings, including “Great Howl at Town Haul” CD and two LP projects from the January 2011 DLB residency at Town Hall Seattle, with major support by UW School of Music and DXARTS. DLB celebrated its 25th anniversary year on 5 October 2013 with “Dunrobin Sonic Gems” a spectacular concert near Ottawa in the amazing Dunrobin Sonic Gym (think five foot gongs!). DLB celebrated further with release of the concert CD “Dunrobin Sonic Gems” on Deep Listening, October 2014. In early 2015 he received two commissions, the first from dancer Holley Farmer and University of Washington Dance Program, and the second from artist Ann Hamilton and Seattle’s Henry Art Gallery.