Jazz Insights: David Wallis Reeves

David Wallis Reeves (1838-1900) was a professional cornettist, composer and bandleader. He was a leading horn player in the Dodworth Band in New York City and the American Brass Band in Providence.

David composed more than 100 works, and many had what today would be considered upbeat jazz passages. He developed a march-style and counter melody for the great military bandleader John Phillip Souza.Souza called him “The Father of Band Music in America.” Later, David Reeves founded The Providence Symphony Orchestra.

When he passed away in the year 1900, Souza sent 200 roses to his funeral.  
The State of Rhode Island built a marble fountain to memorialize him in Roger Williams Park.