Dwight Banks, Composer/Trumpet

When Words Fail…Music Speaks


– Miles Davis

“An artist’s first responsibility is to himself.”


dwight-banks-bioDwight Banks completed his PhD studies in composition at the University of California, Berkeley, where his primary teachers were Olly Wilson, Edwin Dugger, John Thow and Jorge Liderman. In addition, he completed his M.M at California State University, Northridge where he studied with Daniel Kessner, Frank Campo, Beverly Grigsby and Aurelio DeLa Vega. He also completed his BFA at the City College of New York majoring in jazz composition and performance under the guidance of pianist, composer and bandleader John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

In 2002, he was selected as a winner in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s emerging composer’s program for his orchestral piece Pupil of the Eye. Additional honors include several awards from ASCAP and the 2005 James Irvine Foundation Honorary Fellowship. His music has also been performed by ensembles such as the South Arkansas Symphony, the Berkeley New Music Ensemble and the North South Consonance Ensemble. In addition, he has been awarded artist residencies from the Djerassi and I-Park Resident Artists Programs.

He has presented research papers at various conferences with topics ranging from the extended works of Duke Ellington to compositional techniques in the music of Witold Lutoslawski.

A New York City native currently residing in West Palm Beach, Florida, his experience as a trumpet player includes appearances with Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner and Kenny Burrell.

The diversity of his involvement in music has included research into subcultural urban music trends which is often reflected in his concert works.