Gavin Templeton was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but was transplanted at an early age to Reno, Nevada. When he was five, Gavin began studying classical violin, but switched to the alto saxophone a few years later. It was while he was studying saxophone privately that his teacher introduced him to the music of Charlie Parker. Gavin felt an instant affinity with bebop music. He began to memorize Parker solos and perform them for friends, family and, later, at his saxophone teacher’s gigs, where he would be invited up to the bandstand to perform.
Gavin began his professional career in his teens. He played with area musicians and visiting artists such as Wayne Newton and The Temptations. These experiences fueled his desire to continue studying music, and inspired him to learn other woodwind instruments, as such skills were necessary to play much of that repertoire. He enrolled in the Jazz Studies program at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree.
Always curious, Gavin experimented playing in a variety of musical genres and contexts. During college he performed, recorded, and toured with high energy rock and funk groups. He views those years as a crucial part in his musical development. The electrifying music and emotions of rock and funk are integral to his performance style.
Gavin moved to Los Angeles in 2006. He went on to receive a Master’s degree from the California Institute of the Arts where he focused on composition and performance. In addition to jazz, he spent significant time studying Indian classical music, West African drumming, traditional Balkan music, and modern classical composition. That exposure lead him to join the Eastern European-influenced band, PLOTZ!, and co-create the experimental improvisation group DR. MiNT.
In addition to PLOTZ! and DR. MiNT, Gavin performs under his name in varying configurations, and is a member of the Vinny Golia Sextet. He has performed and/or recorded with Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joe LaBarbera, Nels Cline, Larry Koonse, Darek Oles, the New Century Players, Butch Morris, Alfred Ladzekpo, Swapan Chaudhuri, Peter Epstein, David Rosenboom, daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, The Temptations, and Wayne Newton, among many others.
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