is one of a handful of contemporary pianists who has mastered all of the major musical skills, from improvisation and technique, to accompaniment, arranging, and composition. Even more impressive, David is the rare artist able to innovate in each category. Thus it’s no surprise that he’s the most recorded contemporary jazz pianist of our time, having recorded thirty five cd’s as a leader and hundreds more as a sideman, on various major labels globally. A Milwaukee native, David was playing the clubs as a preteen, and before he’d even come of age he was already grabbing the attention and respect of jazz legends like Sonny Stitt, and Chet Baker. They urged him to make the move to New York City, which he did in 1992.
Hazeltine is one of the most sought after pianists today. He has worked with some of the world’s most respected jazz legends including James Moody, Eddie Harris, Jon Faddis, Joe Henderson, Pepper Adams, Jon Hendricks, and Marlena Shaw. David is known for taking a familiar or unexpected song and making it new, making it his own. He effortlessly transfers this skill from song to stage. Whether he’s composing or interpreting, accompanying or leading, you are certain to end the set remembering the sounds of David Hazeltine.
Born 2nd May 1945 in Miami, Oklahoma. He grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As a teenager he performed in Rock , R & B & Big Bands. He toured the states extensively from this age to his early 20’s.
During a period of residence in Las Vegas from the late 60’s to early 70’s he worked with many artists and shows, in famous hotels like “The Sands”, “The Tropicana”,” The Dune” and “Cesars Palace”. Rockwell also became an active participant in the many after hour performances with funk & organ groups.
From 1974 he returned to Minneapolis to record his critically acclaimed first record " Androids", which received a five star review in Downbeat. He was a key member of the band "Natural Life,” recording several albums and touring the U.S.A extensively.
He moved to New York in 1978 and became a member of the seminal Thad-Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. This ensemble toured Europe extensively. From 1979 he was engaged in performances with The Mel Lewis Orchestra, Tito Puente, Freddie Hubbard, Ray Drummond, Billy Hart, Rufus Reid, Victor Lewis, Ron McClure, Tom Harrell, Chuck Israels, John Hicks, Al Foster, Anthony Cox, Bill Dobbins, Keith Copeland, Clint Houston, Richie Bierach etc.
Since 1983 Rockwell has lived in Copenhagen, Denmark. Working in Scandinavia and beyond and with artists such as Ernie Wilkins, Kenny Drew, Alex Riel, Carsten Dahl, Marilyn Mazur & Kenny Wheeler. He has forged special relationships with Danish pianist Jan Kasperson & bass player Jesper Lundgaard. In 2003 he was the recipient of the Ben Webster award. He featured significantly in the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestras touring, broadcast and recording schedule and smaller ensembles such as “The Repertory Quartet” and The “Organisers”.