It started with his mother teaching him to find melodies on their little piano when he was four years old, in their Springfield, Virginia home. His keen ear for pitch soon became clear, and formal training began at age five. "My father used to make a game of sending me into another room to identify the notes he struck on the piano," David recalls.

He was fortunate to have in the neighborhood Marjorie Gloyd, active leader in the National Federation of Music Clubs. The 13 years under her tutelage included master classes and private sessions with various performing professionals, such as Eugene Istomin, presider of the International Piano Competition, UMD, and Russell Gloyd, conductor/arranger/producer of Dave Brubeck Orchestra/Quartet and Vince Guaraldi group.

Having studied both classical and jazz since childhood, David's chops began to take on a personality of their own when he served as the pianist for the now internationally famous "Boilermakers," a New Orleans Jazz Band based out of Pittsburgh, PA. After moving to Savannah, David further honed his craft performing with such greats as the legendary bassist Ben Tucker ("Comin' Home Baby"), who also appears on David's album "I Remember You: A Pianist's Tribute to Johnny Mercer." He followed up the success of this album with his release of "Chopin Piano Spa," a celebration of the more contemplative pieces of romantic-era composer Frédéric Chopin.

Despite his parents' dedication to his musical upbringing, David followed their advice to seek degrees outside the music field. He earned a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Virginia, and enjoyed a brief career as a software engineer before pursuing a full-time vocation as a pianist and producer.

He is married to long-time friend and fellow musician Alisha Evans Duckworth and loves passing on his knowledge to their two children. "My parents were committed to surrounding me with music and taking me to lessons every week for thirteen years, which allowed my natural skills to develop. Everyone says music is a gift you are born with," says David, "but I believe it is a gift cultivated by your parents." ◊

© 2017 David Duckworth Photography by Chris McLaughlin