Currently playing in the latest Broadway revival of “Kiss Me Kate” at Studio 54, Dominic Derasse was born in Paris and grew up in Nice, France. Derasse studied trumpet with Gaston Cagnon, solfege and theory at the Nice conservatory of music. During that time he was playing with “Nice La Belle” (a local folkloric group) at 13 traveling across Europe and even performing at the 1972 Munich olympics. By 14 he was playing regularly with a dance band and at 15 played his first professional job with the Nice opera performing in the stage band for “La Boheme”.
After graduating from high school, Dominic spent the summer of 1976 studying at Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute: Young Artists’ Orchestra where he was involved in daily orchestra rehearsals as well as chamber music and private lessons with Roger Voisin. Some of the conductors that summer were Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Klaus Tennstedt. Upon is return to France, Dominic Derasse fulfilled his national duties in the military service and was enlisted in the band of the 8th Infantry at the “Mont Valerien” just outside Paris. While in the service, he studied with Roger Delmotte at the Versailles conservatory before entering the Paris National Conservatory of Music in autumn 1977 in Pierre Thibaud’s class. During his years at the Paris conservatory, Dominic became very active professionally in Paris, free-lancing in recording sessions, shows, symphony orchestras and operas. He graduated from the Paris conservatory with First Prize in 1979.
In the summer of 1979 he toured South Africa, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Mauritius Island with a brass quintet that included Roger Delmotte, Pierre Dutot, Michel Becquet and Jacky Fourquet. Mr. Derasse received a Fulbright scholarship from the “Commission Franco-Americaine” in Paris that fall and went to Boston to study jazz at Berklee College of Music for two semesters. This would turn out to be a very important time in his life. On recommendation from Jon Faddis, whom he had met at the Nice Jazz Festival, Dominic Derasse studied with Carmine Caruso in New York City. Mr. Caruso’s techniques and philosophies became so important to Dominic that he traveled by bus twice a week, from Boston, to study with the Master.
Upon returning to France, Mr. Derasse quickly became very much in demand on the french musical scene touring that summer of 1980 with two french “Pop Stars”: Enrico Macias and Francois Valery. In October of that year, Mr. Derasse won two orchestral auditions, one for principal trumpet of the Nice Orchestra (his hometown) that he turned down upon winning the position with the “Orchestre Colonne” in Paris. In late 1981, Derasse played lead trumpet for the “Broadway” production of “West Side Story” that was on tour in Paris. In 1982, he became “Lead Trumpet” of the “Folies Bergere” show in Paris in addition to becoming one of the most sought after “studio musicians” (List of various free lance gigs in Paris). Mr. Derasse also was the 1982 laureate of the French National Teaching Diploma in trumpet and began to teach at the Vernon (Eure) and Vaulx le Penil (Ile De France) music conservatories.
In the summer of 1984, Dominic Derasse was invited by Roger Voisin and Gunther Schuller to participate in the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood where he met Charles Schlueter. The seeds for Dominic Derasse’s decision to move to the United States of America were planted there that summer. Mr. Derasse made that move on April 21st, 1985 leaving behind his family and his busy work schedule.
In August 1985, Dominic won the position of principal trumpet with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina under the baton of David Stahl and remained there until May 1987 when he made his permanent move to New York City. Since moving to New York, Mr. Derasse has fast become one of the most sought after trumpet players and educators in the area. In addition to his position as principal trumpet with the now defunct Eos Orchestra, his versatility has allowed him to perform with a wide variety of musical organizations(list of orchestras and shows).
Mr. Derasse has performed as a classical soloist and has presented master classes and lectures in Europe, the U.S., Japan, Africa and South America.
As a soloist Dominic Derasse has performed world premieres of three works: One by Claude Lefebvre in Germany, 1984, one by David Chesky in Charleston, 1987 and more recently a work by Eric Ewazen in Paris, 2009.
(list of solo appearances& masterclasses)
Dominic Derasse has played on more than 60 motion picture soundtracks, (List of movies) including the Oscar winning score to“Frida”.
He has recorded commercials for more than 100 different companies and has performed numerous themes for television, (list of TV shows and Jingles)
Dominic’s career on Broadway includes over 25 shows The most recent show was the revival of South Pacific (only one ever!) at Lincoln Center where he played 1st trumpet. This revival earned the show several Tony awards and was telecast on “Live From Lincoln Center” in August 2010.
Mr. Derasse was also the Founder, President & Executive Director of the New York FILMharmonic Orchestra, a 92 piece orchestra dedicated to the live performance of music written for film and television. The orchestra performed a concert at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Oscar winning composer Jerry Goldsmith on October 4th, 1998. The entire repertoire for that performance was by Jerry Goldsmith. This marked only the second time in Carnegie Hall’s history that a program was not only devoted to a single composer but also conducted by that composer. The only time this had happened before was at a concert conducted by P.I. Tchaikovsky.
Mr. Derasse also served as President of the NY Chapter and Vice-President of the International RMA (Recording Musician’s Association) from 1999 – 2001.