Dave Longfellow began playing steel pans at the age of eleven in his hometown of Morgantown, West Virginia. Dave has studied many facets of pan music, including history, culture, improvisation, and arranging, from such well noted figures as Dr. Elliot Mannette, Andy Narell, Darren Dyke, Tom Miller, Dr. Jit Samaroo, Dr. Jenine Remy, Ray Holman, and Dr. Chris Tanner.
Longfellow has performed with some of the most visible personalities in the steel drum world, including Andy Narell, Ken “Professor” Philmore, Ray Holman, Darren Dyke, Phil Hawkins, Jeff Narell, Tom Miller, Robert Greenidge, Liam Teague, Pan Ramajay, Jit Samaroo, and many others. He has traveled to Trinidad and Tobago to play with the world famous BP Renegades Steel Orchestra during the 2000 carnival season. In 2004 he returned, spending a semester studying abroad at the University of the West Indies and performing with the Renegades for a second time.
In 2001, Longfellow started his own quintet focused on the performance of aggressive/progressive Latin jazz. His group, The Dave Longfellow Ensemble (also known as The DLE), is dedicated to creating new musical expressions involving steel pans, and to spreading the beauty and versatility of these instruments to new audiences. The DLE has recorded two CD’s, The DLE: Vol. 1 and their self-titled release, The Dave Longfellow Ensemble.
Longfellow holds a master’s degree in Jazz Pedagogy at West Virginia University under the direction of Professor Paul Scea. He served as co-director and arranger for the WVU Steel Band from 2002 to 2006. He currently serves as Associate Director of the Virginia Arts Festival’s Rhythm Project.