David "Lenny" Stallworth is an assistant professor at the Berklee College of Music who teaches in the Bass and Ensembles departments. He is currently touring with jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove and his band, the RH Factor, in addition to jazz saxophonist Kenny Garrett and his quartet. He also has toured throughout America and Europe as the bassist for the legendary saxophonist Maceo Parker and his funk and soul band.
Stallworth has appeared in the Broadway musicals Five Guys Named Moe and Another Saturday Night. He has recorded with many artists in a wide variety of genres since his teenage days touring the "Chitlin' Circuit" with his first funk and soul band, the Super Soul Movement, in the 1970s. Today, his greatest inspiration comes from teaching. He has a special ability to motivate and inspire students while guiding them through their learning process and musical journey.
"I try to connect with the spiritual edge because I think that's important for performing certain contemporary music. A lot of the western music you need to experience culturally and spiritually in order to understand it or to do it justice when you're performing. It's more from joy. I'll have students come in with charts, and then I'll have them do away with the charts, just so we can get into the aspects of music that the music really wants. Because there are so many things that can't be read or can't even be conceived from just looking at a chart."
"I also believe that there's no innovation without imitation. So I focus on imitating the greats or the masters in whatever genre or style that we're pursuing that moment. Most great geniuses had predecessors. So when you learn music, you have to learn the history, too. You may think that something is unique, but if you don't know what's out there, you might just be in your own world. So I think it's important to understand a chronological breakdown of history."
"We all have a destiny, and I try to make students realize that each of them is a unique individual and you don't have to run anyone else's race. Sometimes I get students that are overwhelmed because there are so many great players at Berklee. So I just try to connect the fact that if we can find the one unique part abut us, that's what's gonna make you separate from the masses. The upside is that we all have something to contribute. No matter what. I think each student has something that the world can only get from that particular student. It's up to that student to, with integrity, work and develop that skill to bring it to fruition."