“Detrick has a fine ear for timbre and texture, a mastery of classical and jazz styles, and an engaging technique on the trumpet.“
– Stephen Brookes, Washington Post, February 23, 2015
Douglas Detrick is a composer, musician, author, and arts consultant based in Viroqua, Wisconsin and also active in Portland, Oregon.
He is a multidisciplinary artist who makes connections between unexpected ideas and emotions through his work, always valuing creativity and authenticity, and promoting justice and equality. In music, he has operated as a trumpeter, clawhammer banjoist, composer/arranger, electronic musician, conductor, and singer-songwriter, developing a polyglot approach that adapts to evolving goals. He has released recordings as a singer/songwriter and as a trumpeter and leader of Douglas Detrick’s AnyWhen Ensemble, and appeared in the DVD release of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s farewell performance, the Park Avenue Armory Events. As a writer, his debut short story collection and companion musical EP Glass Stories was released in September of 2022, and he is working on a novel.
Detrick launched his business Substrate Arts Consulting in 2022. He works with nonprofit organizations and individual artists to achieve their creative, fundraising, and administrative goals. Specializing in grant writing, strategic planning, program design and evaluation, website building, and executive coaching, Detrick offers his uncommon perspective as a creative artist who is also an experienced nonprofit administrator.
Douglas Detrick served as Executive Director of the nonprofit Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble from 2013 to 2022, moving on as part of a planned transition. Over that time, the organization commissioned and performed many works by Oregonian composers, toured across Oregon, and released recordings by many Portland bandleaders, with the organization’s budget growing steadily. He played trumpet in and composed for the ensemble—most notably in the Oregon Stories project from 2018 and arrangements of Rebecca Sanborn’s Shadow Work song cycle in 2022—but most importantly, Detrick led the organization in its evolution from an all-volunteer workshop band to a professional cultural institution in the Portland scene. It was in this role that Detrick had the opportunity to develop many ambitious collaborations that re-imagined the role of jazz in a rapidly diversifying marketplace of cultural ideas, and learned the fundraising skills that made those programs possible.
He was awarded the 2011 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works and Presenting Jazz grants for his work with his chamber-jazz quintet Douglas Detrick’s AnyWhen Ensemble, and the commissioned work “The Bright and Rushing World” was premiered at New York’s Jazz Gallery in 2012 and performed throughout the United States. He is currently the Executive Director of the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, and performs in Oregon as well as touring nationally. As an arts consultant to individual artists and arts organizations, he helps to clarify goals and define strategies for achieving them through fundraising, program design, marketing, WordPress websites, and career coaching.
While a New York resident from 2010 to 2013 he performed at the Stone, Jazz Gallery, and Issue Project Room, performed new music by Christian Wolff with the composer and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at its farewell performance at the Park Avenue Armory, and joined the curatorial team of Dave Douglas’ Festival of New Trumpet Music.
He started his improvising chamber group Douglas Detrick’s AnyWhen Ensemble in Eugene, Oregon to play music written for his Master’s thesis recital. After this recital, the group all agreed that they should continue working together, and with the addition of Shirley Hunt on cello these core members have built a unique collection of ensemble performance techniques and repertoire. The group was awarded a 2011 New Jazz Works grant from Chamber Music America, with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, has recorded three albums and performed throughout New York and the West Coast, including New York’s The Stone and at Seattle’s Is That Jazz? Festival. The quintet gave the world premiere of the concert-length suite commissioned by Chamber Music America in 2012 at the Festival of New Trumpet Music and played it throughout the US in the group’s 2012-13 season. The group was also awarded the CMA Presenting Jazz program, which will present the group in three FONT events in New York, Portland and Chicago. AnyWhen Ensemble has also collaborated with the acclaimed pianist Wayne Horvitz.
In addition to his continuing work with AnyWhen Ensemble, Detrick also performs traditional folk music and originals inspired by these songs for his Cartography project which employs a flexible group of musicians, from solo to a quartet, in his unique arrangements that present music from the many channels of the American folk tradition in a chamber-jazz context.
Detrick spent a formative four years in Eugene, Oregon. He moved there to earn his Master’s of Music from the University of Oregon, and served two years as a graduate teaching fellow. During his time in Eugene, Detrick founded his AnyWhen Ensemble, the Douglas Detrick Quintet, the Detrick/Swigart Big Band, and co-founded the improvising trio Any Permutation. He also performed with the Oregon Festival of American Music and the Emerald City Jazz Kings. His studies with Brian McWhorter had a profound impact on his vision for the future of his work, and it was here that Detrick decided to follow his own path into whatever music called to him, rather than trying to fit his work into one single genre.
Detrick has been commissioned by the NOW Ensemble; Beta Collide, a leading new music ensemble led by trumpeter Brian McWhorter and Grammy-winning flutist Molly Barth, formerly of Eighth Blackbird; the Meridian Arts Ensemble; the Willamette Jazz Collective; The Little William Theatre Festival of New Music; saxophone soloist Kimberly Reece; the arts non-profit Spark and Echo and others.
Detrick has received several grants and awards as a composer:
- 2011 New Jazz Works grant from Chamber Music America
- 2011 Presenting Jazz grant from Chamber Music America
- Honorable mention in the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards in 2009 for his composition “Cape Creek” for Douglas Detrick’s AnyWhen Ensemble
- 2007 Downbeat Student Music Award for his arrangement of Duke Ellington’s “Single Petal of A Rose”.
- 2007 Meridian Arts Ensemble’s first Composition Contest winner. The MAE premiered “As the Crow Flies” in a recital at the Manhattan School of Music in September of 2007 and performed the piece in Bulgaria and Mexico.
Detrick’s work as an arts consultant has found him working with the Festival of New Trumpet, the American Composer’s Alliance, and many individual artists. He specializes in music, but helps artists and arts organizations of all stripes to achieve their goals through program development, fundraising, and communications. He offers a course entitled “A Workshop for Artists: How to write effectively about your music on your website, to the press and to potential funders” that focuses on helping artists prepare for, seek and capitalize on professional opportunity for their work.
Detrick has written about about music for several publications including New Music Box, The Curator and Jazz.About.com. He has also been commissioned by the EveryPeople Workshop to write the short story “feathered” that was featured in the group’s Short Short Stories series, curated by John Sutton. Detrick also writes poetry and was awarded the Hicks Prize in Poetry from Lawrence University.
He also holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree in trumpet performance with jazz emphasis from Lawrence University of Appleton, WI. There he studied trumpet with John Daniel, jazz composition with Fred Sturm, and classical music composition with Joanne Metcalf and Marcos Balter. Detrick was born in New Jersey and educated in Wisconsin, but his upbringing near Portland, Oregon has had the biggest influence on who he has become: His music most often finds the performers taking part in an auditory ecosystem, where each player chooses what to play based on what the immediate musical environment, like his memories of playing outside beneath the giant fir trees of his green homeland.
Douglas Detrick has received support from: