Christy Dana

Job title: 
Senior Lecturer

Christy Dana holds a Bachelor of Music in Brass from DePauw University, and two degrees from Indiana University: Master of Music in Theory, and Doctor of Music in Brass Literature and Pedagogy, with minors in jazz studies and music history.  At Berkeley, Dr. Dana teaches Musicianship (49B, 50, 51) and Jazz Theory and Performance (116A-B).  A master teacher, Dr. Dana delights in teaching such practical musical skills as sight singing, ear training, keyboard harmony, jazz improvisation, and small ensemble performance.  A frequent supervisor of the graduate student assistants who teach Basic Musicianship (20A-B), and the founder and supervisor of the Musicianship Tutoring Program, Dr. Dana enjoys instructing others in the pedagogy of musicianship.  In 2008 she was awarded the Divisional Distinguished Service Award for Senate Faculty.

As a trumpeter, bandleader, and composer, Christy Dana loves to play cutting-edge, straight-ahead jazz with CDQ, her high-energy quartet.  Her CD, Merry-Go-Round, features tuneful, upbeat originals as well as classic standards.  Reviewing Merry-Go-Round in the L.A. Jazz Scene, Scott Yanow writes, ”While her sidemen are fine, Christy Dana (who whistles quite effectively on “Gulliver’s Romp”) is the main star and makes one wonder why she is not much better known.  She is a fine hard bop player.”  KCSM’s Melanie Berzon comments, “If you’re looking for jazz that is firmly rooted in tradition, yet moves the art form into the future, then stop right here!  Christy Dana can play and write with the best of them.  She is a force to be reckoned with!”   CDQ has appeared at Women in Jazz Fort Bragg, the Jazzschool, UC Berkeley Noon Concerts, Anna’s Jazz Island, the Jazzschool, the Berkeley Arts Festival, the Market Street Association People in Plazas concert series, as well as many other music venues in the Bay Area.

Dana is a member of the Montclair Women’s Big Band and is featured soloist on their compact disc recording.   With that group, she has appeared in concert at Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; “Women Mavericks in Music,” presented by the Grammy Foundation, Los Angeles; Yoshi’s San Francisco and Yoshi’s Oakland; the Montclair Village Jazz and Wine Festival; the Vallejo Jazz and Wine Festival; San Jose Jazz Festival; KCSM’s Jazz on the Hill; and the Berkeley Arts Festival.  She has been a Resident Artist at the Banff Centre for the Arts Jazz Workshop, and she has performed at the International Whistling Competition held in Louisburg, North Carolina.

Active as well in the classical music scene, Dana has played modern trumpet with the Women’s Philharmonic, Orchestra Sonoma, the Napa Valley, Vallejo, Monterey, California, and Santa Cruz Symphonies, and has toured all of the UC campuses with the contemporary music group, the Empyrean Ensemble.  On the natural trumpet, she has performed early music with Jubilate, Magnificat, and the European-based Orchestra of the Renaissance at the Berkeley Festival.  “I love going from a Bach B minor Mass performance, to a Montclair Women’ Big Band gig, to a performance of my own quartet, CDQ.   The variety keeps me fresh.”

In addition to her teaching at UC Berkeley, Dana has taught at the Jazzschool in Berkeley since its inception in 1997, and at summer music programs including Jazz Camp West, the Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop, and the San Francisco Early Music Recorder Workshop.



The Montclair Women’s Big Band, 2005

Merry-Go-Round, 2003, first CD as a leader, six original compositions

The Music of Florence Price, 2001, The Women’s Philharmonic, Koch Classics

The Music of Chen Yi, 1996, The Women’s Philharmonic, New Albion Records

The Women’s Philharmonic,1992, Koch International


Doctor of Music, Indiana University, 1995, Brass Literature and Pedagogy; Minors in Jazz Studies and Music History.
Master of Music, Indiana University, 1979, Theory.
Bachelor of Music, DePauw University, 1974, Brass.

Academic Positions
University of California, Berkeley, 1987-present
The Jazzschool, 1997-present
University of California, Santa Cruz, 1985-87
Bucknell University, 1980-1982

Professional Activities
CDQ—The Christy Dana Quartet, 1991-present
Ft. Bragg Women in Jazz Festival
Berkeley Arts Festival
People in Plazas, San Francisco
The Jazzschool
Jazz House
Anna’s Jazz Island
Julia Morgan Theater
Berkeley City Club
Hertz Hall Noon Concerts, UC Berkeley
The Montclair Women’s Big Band, 1998-present
Mary Lou Williams Festival of Women in Jazz, the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
San Francisco Jazz Festival
Montclair Village Jazz and Wine Festival
Vallejo Jazz and Wine Festival
Yoshi’s Oakland, Yoshi’s San Francisco
The Jazzschool
The Grammy Foundation
San Jose Jazz Festival
KCSM’s Jazz on the Hill
The Napa Valley Symphony, 1989-present, orchestral trumpet
Freelance work with the Women’s Philharmonic, Orchestra Sonoma, Vallejo, Monterey, California,and Santa Cruz Symphonies
Jubilate and Magnificat early music orchestras, natural trumpet, 2000-present