Recommended if You Like
Kate Bush Peter Gabriel Yes

Genres You Will Love
Rock: Progressive Rock Moods: Solo Male Artist Classical: Romantic Era

By Location
United States - New York

Downing Grey - band website Dave's acupuncture website Larry DeVivo, mastering engineer

Dave Ostrowski

Dave resides in upstate NY. He’s an artist, composer, bassist, acupuncturist, and Oriental bodyworker. He received his Bachelors degree in Composition from Berklee College of Music, in Boston, MA in 1989, and his Masters of Acupuncture from The Traditional Acupuncture Institute, now TAI/Sophia, in Columbia, MD, in 1997.

Dave’s musical tastes and influences are varied. He’s got a solid rock background with a strong preference toward old school progressive rock. He plays bass in a band called Downing Grey, which is a tribute act to the classic progressive rock era. While at Berklee in the mid 80’s, he got heavily into classical music, late Romantic, and early 20th Century composers being most influential. "There Was One" actually began, and underneath the layers, still remains, a piece for string orchestra, with a distinctive German, Late Romantic feel.

From early on Dave was exposed to classical music. The radio was always on PBS. Both parents were vocalists in choirs and choruses, and were heavily involved with The Maynard Savoyards, a Gilbert and Sullivan light opera company. Dad was always the leading tenor and Mom, a soprano and dancer. Dave credits his being drawn to British progressive rock, British humor, theatrics, and general silliness, to the early and ubiquitous exposure to G&S and the theater crowd.

His most enduring, and endearing influence, however, is Kate Bush. Her genre-defying writing and production styles, her exceptional vocal skills, unparalleled imagination, and over the top sense of artistic candor have earned her “the high priestess of the creative universe” title, in Dave’s book. “She’s always there, challenging me to make it better." As Kate surely wins the best vocalist award, Jon Anderson and Peter Gabriel are his preferred male vocalists, with Yes and Genesis his most influential bands. To round it out, The Indigo Girls have been a huge influence, with Emily Saliers taking second to Kate, in the female vocal department.

Dave started playing bass at age 12. His earliest influences included Tom Hamilton, John Paul Jones, Michael Anthony and Steve Harris. Yes, Dave was a metal head in the early 80’s. Things progressed when he discovered Geddy Lee, which naturally led to Chris Squire, Mike Rutherford, and his main man, Tony Levin, whose work with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel has tremendously influenced his style.

Dave’s approach to writing for the bass is to put away the bass, and all its familiar patterns and comfortable riffs, and compose the part, through singing it and penciling it to midi, which aside from working out chords on guitar, is how he does most of his writing. The hard part is learning to play what he wrote, and the big finish in "There Was One" he considers to be the most difficult 15 seconds he’s ever had to learn. This is standard fare for Dave, though, who artistically prefers to remain well outside his comfort zone and finds that being in over his head, as difficult as it can be, in the end, provides richest results.