Born: June 21, 1984 Primary Instrument: Drums
David Lyttle began performing professionally at the age of four in his family folk group, playing bongos, bodhrán and mini lambeg drum. A few years later he added uilleann and lowland pipes, cello and, at eight years old, drum kit. He began focusing his efforts on the drum kit at the age of eighteen after hearing jazz and at nineteen received a scholarship to study at Skidmore Jazz Institute (New York). The following year he attended the Banff Centre's International Workshop in Jazz (Canada), also on scholarship. After completing his classical cello studies at the University of Ulster, David began a PhD in Musicology and graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy in 2009.
David's first apprenticeship in the jazz world began in 2006 with guitar legend Louis Stewart. Around the same time he also formed mentor relationships with American giants such as Jean Toussaint and in 2008 invited the iconic saxophonist Greg Osby, who was then signed to Blue Note, to tour in his group. These were the first in a long list of international collaborations that now includes Soweto Kinch, Tommy Smith, Andreas Oberg, Terell Stafford, Robert Mitchell, Tim Warfield, Michael Jansich and Cleveland Watkiss. David has also performed with Dave Liebman, Jaleel Shaw, Jonathan Kreisberg, Jacqui Dankworth and Will Vinson, and from 2007 to 2011 could be seen regularly in New York, Toronto and London. David has been credited for discovering guitar prodigy Andreas Varady, now managed by Quincy Jones, and their 2010 album, 'Questions' brought Andreas to an international audience, with live dates at London's Ronnie Scott's, throughout Europe and in the South Pacific.
David describes his newest release 'Interlude' as 'an urban album with a strong jazz influence'. First heard on BBC Radio 1's Introducing, it has earned him recognition outside of jazz as a producer and writer, with praise ranging from the Daily Mirror to MOBO, and airplay around the world. Brought to millions by a Channel 4 album advert campaign with HMV, it features David on drums, keyboards, bass, cello and vocals, alongside some of his heroes, contemporaries and family. The collaborators include MOBO-winning Soweto Kinch, GB rapper/vocalist Homecut and US rapper iLLspokinN (Run DMC). Talent from Ireland such as rising star vocalist Rhea, rapper Wile Man, guitarist Andreas Varady and his highly- respected folk singer mother, Anne Lyttle, also appear. In addition, David features A-list session guests Jason Rebello (Sting), Pino Palladino (Adele, D'Angelo), Michael Buckley (Glen Hansard) and Keith Duffy (The Corrs). Launching a string of international dates throughout 2013, David Lyttle & Interlude appeared at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club in November 2012, recommended by Time Out and described as 'extraordinary'.
As director of LYTE Records, David has released music by many of Ireland's most prominent niche artists. International stars such as Grammy-winning jazz legend John Patitucci, Mercury-nominated rapper Soweto Kinch and British singer Georgie Fame have made guest appearances, and David has produced breakthrough albums for exceptional new talent such as Israeli classical pianist Ariel Lanyi and jazz guitarist Andreas Varady for release by the label. LYTE artists have been heard on radio from BBC Radio 1 to KLUC Las Vegas, and on TV from from Nickelodeon to MTV.
From 2008 to 2011 David was highly-active as a composer, writing three literary-inspired suites. His interpretation of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' received much acclaim in 2009 and 2010. The follow-up, 'Dark Tales', drew inspiration from the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson. 'Dark Tales' at the Belfast Festival at Queens was broadcast by the BBC and in London received four stars from the Financial Times. In 2011 David premiered the Jews Schmooze-commissioned/Peace III 'Chronicles Suite' at Belfast Synagogue. Inspired by the writings of CS Lewis, it was performed by Ariel Lanyi and Andreas Varady.
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