Trumpeter. Born David Allen Houser on February 1, 1941 in Washington, D.C.; died May 29, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
His father, Harold Houser, was a naval officer and governor of the island of American Samoa, where Houser lived from 1945-1947. A trumpet-playing uncle in San Francisco encouraged him in music.
He attended Alice Deal Junior High School and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and was in the first graduating class of Walter Johnson High School in north Bethesda. He attended Dartmouth College as a pre-med student (1958-1962) and was leader and trumpeter of the campus band the Modern Men, “a sort of Gerry Mulligan-type group.” This group participated in the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival in March 1960 and was one of the finalists.
In the early 1960s following college, Houser spent time in Berkeley, California, working as a bank teller but playing in the ensemble of baritone saxophonist Trevor Koehler, which also included drummer Smiley Winters. During this time he also spent time with tenor saxophonist Gentry Baker, participating in jam sessions led by Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes, including a session that featured Philly Joe Jones. Houser returned to Washington in 1966.
Houser’s quintet had a regular weekend gig at Bertha’s in Baltimore for more than a decade beginning in the 1980s.