David DeVasto’s compositions have been heard throughout the United States in various conferences and festivals, including; The UCM New Music Festival, EMM (Electronic Music Midwest), N.E.O.N. (Nevada Encounters of New Music), The Electro-Acoustic Juke Joint, The SCI National Student Conference, and The Midwest Composers Symposium. Recently, DeVasto completed two large ensemble works featuring the saxophone. His saxophone concerto, Ecce Signum, was recorded with The University of Iowa Center for New Music, while his piece for jazz orchestra, We Were Buried, was recorded with Johnson County Landmark. As a pianist, DeVasto has performed in various ensembles, such as; Johnson County Landmark, Three Page Fives, and The Louisville Metro Big Band. He is currently a member of The Generals of Jazz, a quartet based in Saint Louis, Missouri. DeVasto has performed with many artists, including; Richard Stoltzman, Brent Sandy, Steve Grismore, Michael Spiro, Jim Dreier, Craig Wagner, and Tyrone Wheeler. DeVasto has performed in national events, such as; The Iowa City Jazz Festival, IMEA Jazz Festival, The Tugline, The 2004 St. Louis World’s Fair. He has also performed at venues across the Midwest region, including; The Jazz Factory, The Sanctuary, The Delmar Lounge, and Riddles Penultimate among others. DeVasto has been featured as a pianist on two recent albums; Tim O’Dell’s Dreams of Pangea (Southport S-SSD 0127), and Tom Ott’s Living Language (Minstrel Recording). DeVasto earned degrees from The University of Iowa, The University of Louisville, and Webster University. He has served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in both, Music Theory and Jazz Studies, and his primary teachers have included; David Gompper, Michael Eckert, Steve Rouse, Bob Chamberlin, Kim Portnoy, and Kendall Stallings. DeVasto’s jazz mentors include; Jim Connerley, Paul DeMarinis, Carol Schmidt, Tom Byrne, Steve Schenkel, Tyrone Wheeler and John La Barbera. DeVasto currently teaches jazz piano at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois.

Compositions

"Wash Me Whiter Than Snow" (2007) for viola and piano


PDF score

This work is a lamentation, based on Psalm 51:6-7. David, the ancient king of Israel, had committed adultery with Bathsheba and ordered her husband, Uriah, to be murdered during a military campaign. David wrote this Psalm after being confronted by Nathan the prophet. A portion reads as follows: “Behold, you desire truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. . .”


"Moon Tracks" (2005) for four percussion players


PDF score

While composing this piece, I became fascinated with the published pictures of the Martian landscape. I envisioned the nature of space exploration and the recent mission to Mars, while attempting to convey the treading motion of a human-built vehicle amidst the surreal landscape of an unknown terrain.