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Dave Johnstone grew up in St. Louis, MO, where he began playing local jazz gigs at age 15. After high school Dave attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. Now based in Los Angeles, Dave is an in-demand live and session drummer. He currently serves as both music director and drummer for Dave Koz & Friends at Sea, living legend Ellis Hall, and jazz/pop prodigy Aubrey Logan. Dave played on Aubrey’s debut album, “Impossible” which reached #2 on the iTunes Jazz Chart, and follow up album “Where the Sunshine is Expensive” which reached #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. Dave is the house drummer for McPhee International Vocal Studios, performing and recording with a wide variety of artists. Dave is an instructor for, as well as the transcriber for the entire site. He has worked with a wide range of artists, including Dave Koz, Postmodern Jukebox, Jeff Lorber, Casey Abrams, Mindi Abair, The Dan Band, Allison Janney, Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops, Seattle Symphony and Geneva Camerata Symphony. Dave has been seen performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Call with Carson Daly, Ellen, and NBC’s Last Comic Standing. He has played on many albums and film/television scores, including the score for the Oscar-winning film “Juno”, Universal Studios “Blockers”, “Dig” on USA Network, and “Shameless” on Showtime. From 2011–2017 Dave was the drummer for the award-winning vocal jazz department at Mt. San Antonio College, with whom he had the honor of performing at the 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival, and also received a Downbeat Magazine award for their 2015 album, "Nothing But Static.”

Dave is on faculty at Los Angeles College of Music in Pasadena, CA, and is co-host of the podcast “Musician Mindset”. 

Dave proudly endorses Bosphorus CymbalsMayer Bros. DrumsAquarian DrumheadsCanopus AccessoriesBig Fat Snare Drum, & Beato Bags.

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