David Buchbinder

David (Yonah) Buchbinder. Trumpeter, composer, music producer, born Kansas City, Missouri 1 Oct 1959.

Background and influences

David Buchbinder, who holds dual citizenship, grew up in St. Louis, and began trumpet lessons with the principal trombone player of the St. Louis Symphony at the age of 7. When he was 9, his family moved to Toronto, and he did not resume lessons on the instrument until about 1979 with Freddie Stone. He later studied trumpet with Don Johnson (1983-86), Barton Woomert (1990), and Laurie Frink in New York City beginning in 1996.

Other private study was with Ted Moses and Bobby Fenton in jazz harmony and improvisation (Toronto) and John McNeil and Kenney Werner (NY). Buchbinder attended formative jazz workshops at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 1986 and 1987.

His compositions and creative fusion performance style have been influenced by a variety of musical genres and artists including jazz greats Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk, Duke Ellington, Clifford Brown, Dave Douglas, and Muhal Richard Abrams; American avant- garde composer John Zorn; early klezmer clarinetists Dave Tarras and Naftule Brandwein; world music exponents Abraham Adzinyah (percussion) Ilmi Jaserov (saxophone) , the Cuban band Irakere, and classical composers Bela Bartók and Richard Strauss.


As a bandleader/trumpeter Buchbinder has toured and performed in Europe (Germany, England, Holland, Sweden, Scotland), Canada and the USA including at the Festival International de jazz de Montréal and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.

He has developed a name as a cultural innovator, often in projects that combine aspects of various types of music with other artistic pursuits. He was a co-founder of Toronto's Ashkenaz Festival, which has since been held biennially featuring an increasingly international level of musicians, dancers, speakers and films.

In 1987 he founded The Flying Bulgars, a klezmer-inspired band which has received several JUNO nominations.

The Jazz circus Shurum Burum (co-produced with Roberto Occhipinti) was a multi-media show with 11 musicians and 7 movement artists incorporating bebop, circus European Village Fanfare, klezmer, Roma, Latin and more. The show performed in Ontario, British Columbia, Québec, and the Atlantic Provinces, and released a CD in 2005.

Buchbinder's cross cultural Jewish-Cuban fusion collaboration Odessa/Havanna, (with Hilario Duran, Rick Lazar, Mark Kelso, Occhipinti, Aleksander Gajic, Quinsin Nachoff, and Dafnis Prieto), combines popular and traditional elements. They made their debut in 2006, released a CD on the Tzadik label (2007), and were named the Canadian Folk Music Award's World Group of the Year (2008).

In 2011, Buchbinder embarked on the urban development initiative Diasporic Genius to develop cultural community building in public spaces through story circles, community festivals, culinary events, mentorship, economic projects and professional performances. Andalusia to Toronto, with Buchbinder and guest artists performing Spanish, Arabic, Jewish, and Afro Cuban instrumental, songs and dances at Koerner Hall, and the multi-disciplinary show Tumbling into Light at Toronto's Harbourfront were among performance events that year.


Buchbinder has composed for his own ensembles, for modern dance, theatre, music videos, film and television. His works for screen include the music for Jerry and Tom (1998), Club Land (2001), and Bleacher Bums (2002) all directed by Saul Rubinek; the score for the animated short "The Stone of Folly" that won the Cannes prix de jury (2002); and Whole New Thing, by Daniel McIvor, co-written and directed by his brother Amnon Buchbinder, (2005).