“Hot can be cool, and cool can be hot, and each can be both. But hot or cool, man, jazz is jazz.”- Louis Armstrong
David Jellema - Cornet & Clarinet
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in its suburbs, David Jellema learned to play cornet through grade and secondary school band programs and some private lessons. On hearing recordings of cornetist Bix Beiderbecke when he was nine, Jellema developed an early interest in traditional jazz, amply fortified in the hearing of Bixian cornetist Tom Pletcher play live near his summer home near Lake Michigan. School years were spent in the traditional jazz-rich environment of the Potomac River Jazz Club, whereby bands and musicians associated with the PRJC had David sit in or substitute occasionally. Both his father (poet Rod Jellema) and an uncle were jazz enthusiasts and collectors.
After studying, obtaining his BA in Classical Civilizations and a few years living in the Middle East, Jellema returned to pursue a Master’s of Library Sciences. For a practicum, internship, and contract work, Jellema worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in the Archives Center, processing the business records of Duke Ellington. From there he moved to Tennessee to work for five years as the archivist at the Center for Popular Music, a research library and archives of American vernacular music.
From here he resigned in order to pursue performance opportunities with various jazz groups and a rock band; and to record as well with various pop groups in and around Nashville and Murfreesboro.
Jellema moved to San Antonio in July 2007 in order to play at the Landing, where he performs shifts on its patio overlooking the Riverwalk and substitute for Jim Cullum in his absence. Through these opportunities Jellema came to know the other members of the Hot Rhythm Cats.
When playing cornet, Jellema plays on a 1965 Getzen Eterna.