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Dave Colter


Born in Santa Monica, California, raised in Pittsburgh and Boston, Dave moved to the Toronto area with his family at age 12. He has since become a mainstay of the Southern Ontario music scene.

Dave grew up in a musical family. His father, Allan Colter, is a world-class trumpet player in the traditional jazz style. His mother, Barbara Colter, is a talented artist who has been involved in music, sculpture, and video. Since day one, he's been surrounded by great music.

Dave first studied music at age eight, taking piano lessons on-and-off for the next three years. He began playing the drums at age 11 while living in Boston. Allan's band during this period was an outstanding unit, the members of which are all still active in music today.

Their rehearsal/jam sessions were family/social events. Living in Boston also gave Dave the opportunity to see and hear some of the finest marching drummers in the world.

Shortly after moving to Toronto, Dave again started formal drum lessons and began playing with other local musicians. Realizing that he could make a living doing this, he began to practice intensely and, at age 19, joined his first professional band, The Terraplane Blues Band. Among the many talented musicians in that band were double-slide guitar virtuoso Brian Cober (The Nationals) and long-time mentor to both Brian and Dave, the late Ben Gadd.
At age 20, Dave moved to San Diego for one year where he resumed formal studying and learned to play jazz. Upon his return to Toronto, he began playing with tenor saxophonist Ralph Bowen, now a giant on the New York City jazz scene. He continued to play with Ralph for several years.

Dave further immersed himself in the study of music when, at age 22, he enrolled in the renowned Humber College music program. After finishing college, he commenced a busy schedule of touring, recording, and teaching. During the next 11 years, Dave would play with Terraplane, The Nationals, Bo Diddley, Eugene Smith, and the late Richard Newell (a.k.a. King Biscuit Boy) to name but a few. Over this period, he toured across Canada several times, played on many commercially available recordings, did numerous television spots, and did free-lance live and studio dates with countless Southern Ontario artists.

Dave's 34th year marked a turning point in his life. With a young family, he felt it best to refrain temporarily from the extensive touring he had been doing. Despite his new commitments, Dave still found the time to perform and/or record with bands such as Little Jimmy and the Headliners, Lester and the B-Flats, and The Colin Taylor Band, and do gigs with Jack DeKeyser, the late Hock Walsh, and Zoom. He also did 12 nationally broadcast television spots for CTV's Good Morning Canada with The Waterstreet Blues Band.

Now, several years later, Dave is returning to a fully active music career. He is currently playing with Celtic rockers The Dole Tinkers, as well as doing free-lance jazz, blues and country gigs. He has also recorded two full-length CDs (with Mo' Kauffey and The Waterstreet Blues Band) and done several demo recordings.

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