About | Dave Deporis

Dave Deporis was a prolific and unique American singer-songwriter primarily active in the New York and California music scenes, most notably as part of the NY anti-folk resurgence of the early aughts. Taking inspiration from classical, folk and traditional world music, lyrically intensive singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, alternative, grunge and post-punk artists of the late 1980s and early 90s, Dave sought to make music which was both refined and fiercely non-elitist.

Deporis' work has been described as emotionally moving in its raw intensity and artistic truth, with subjects ranging from apocalyptic premonitions to the most simple feelings of love and belonging. Delivered with a unique voice, alternately growling and ethereal, his lyrics speak directly and sincerely to the listener, communicating an unwavering and honest reality unique to his music.

Despite continuously writing, recording and performing for nearly 20 years, playing alongside many other well known and highly respected musicians, Dave never formally released an album during his lifetime.

 

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In August of 2017, Dave was working outside a cafe in Oakland when a petty thief grabbed his laptop containing many of his unreleased recordings. Dave pursued the thief and was struck down by the getaway vehicle as they fled.

Since his passing, most of his large body of work has been gathered (including backups of most of the work originally feared lost in the theft) and an ongoing project is underway to preserve and release much of it over time. This effort has been greatly fueled by Dave's friends, who have not only raised funds, offered material and information but have contributed their time and talents to help bring this project to fruition and see that Dave's music lives on.

For The Birds and Children, mostly recorded between 2005-2008, marks the first official release of Dave’s work. Comprised primarily of home recordings, it contains several of Dave’s best known songs from the time period.

A Story Of A Musician You've Never Heard Of

A Story Of A Musician You've Never Heard Of

"There’s music that comes from the unknown. Music with a strangeness that is at first both annoying and arresting, music with a depth which proves that it issues from the mind of someone who has known pain and hope and unthinkable sorrow — someone, in other words, who knows a bit about life, and not from the outside, but from the core.
Dave is that musician.”

Dave Deporis: An Extraordinary Life

Dave Deporis: An Extraordinary Life

A full-length audio documentary about Dave's life and music featuring interviews with his parents Stella Deporis and Gene Deporis, songwriters Peter Himmelman and Diane Cluck, and Dave himself in a 2005 Spinning On Air radio interview, as well as several songs and excerpts showing the music’s power and inventiveness.

Snap Judgment - Counted: An Oakland Story

Snap Judgment - Counted: An Oakland Story

A segment covering Dave's untimely death, the reaction of family friends and the community from Snap Judgment's Counted: An Oakland Story which chronicled some of the many lost to violence in Oakland during 2017.

We live in a world of distractions. Each moment clatters an whirs with the promise of some new titillation. But perhaps what we are truly after is what came so naturally to Dave, a joyous immersion into our own creativity.
 
Aside from –and perhaps beyond– Dave's astonishing technical gifts as a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter was his ability to be completely one with his creative self.
 
Dave wasn't walking into walls or speaking in tongues, but to say he inhabited the same world as the rest of us, isn't quite true. Dave lived in the place every artist dreams of – ensconced in the castle of his own artistic vision. In listening to Dave, we become inspired to search for a castle of our own."
 
                                                                     — Peter Himmelman

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