David Kobberdahl


David Kobberdahl grew up in West Des Moines, IA, where he attended Valley High School under the direction of Larry Green and Steve McCombs, graduating in 1983. At Valley, he began studying with Willie Thomas, who became his mentor throughout high school, college, and well into adulthood. Dave received his undergraduate degree from Truman State in 1988 and later earned his Master's from VanderCook School of Music.

After college, David spent his first year working with Willie Thomas to establish the Des Moines Community Jazz Center. This center remains a vital source of support and opportunity for young musicians to learn and perform jazz across the Des Moines metro area and nearby rural communities. In 2018, David was honored as a Community Jazz Center Hall of Fame recipient.

David taught in public schools for thirty-three years, with seven years at Woodward-Granger and the remaining twenty-six years in West Des Moines Community Schools. His jazz bands achieved numerous 1st place awards at jazz festivals, including the Iowa Jazz Championships. Additionally, he served on the faculty of summer jazz camps at Simpson College, University of Northern Iowa, and Southwestern Community College.

Though retired from public school teaching, David remains in high demand as a judge, clinician, and guest artist. He continues to perform professionally and has recorded several CDs with groups including The Des Moines Big Band, the Latin group Ashanti, Gabriel Espinosa, and various others.

David has been married to his wife Jerilyn, a band instructor in West Des Moines, since 1989. They have two daughters, Taylor and Samantha.