Pianist David Arnay, born in New York City, spent his formative professional years in Ithaca, New York. His keyboard work was integral to a series of original musical projects including a lengthy collaboration in the eclectic Zobo Funn Band with influential guitarist/composer David Torn.
In Los Angeles, Arnay was recruited in 1994 by jazz woodwind legend Bennie Maupin for his new quintet. The group thrived for several years, performing Arnay's compositions along with Maupin's. “Playing with Bennie brought me to one of the coolest branches of the jazz family tree. He really helped me to listen more carefully, to leave more space and respect silence. A true mentor.”
In 1997 Arnay released his first CD as a leader, “Daddy's Groove,” (Band Together Records). The disc featured woodwind performances by Maupin and Bob Sheppard, with drummer Peter Erskine and bassists Alphonso Johnson and Dave Carpenter. Daddy’s Groove received national distribution and strong reviews.
Arnay's second CD release as leader was the self-produced trio project, “Blues... And Then Some” (Studio N, 2003), with drummer Dave Tull and bassist Larry Steen. The CD remains in regular rotation in Los Angeles (KKJZ) and Seattle (KPLU).
David played guitar and keyboards for the original Los Angeles production of the Broadway hit musical RENT starring Neil Patrick Harris in over 250 performances. Self-taught since childhood on guitar, bass and drums, the paths he finds on these other instruments contribute to his compositional process.