David Karp

Dave Karp (born 12/1955), is a local Milwaukee musician who plays both keyboards and guitar for the Mission River Band.


Dave Karp was born in Milwaukee and has lived here the majority of his life. His first instrument that he learned was the accordion. At age 5, he switched to learning classical piano, including broadway and pop songs. He is self taught on guitar, learning the instrument at age 9 years old. He went to John Marshall High School  in Milwaukee, WI, graduating in 1973. From there, he attended the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, graduating in 1977.  He also attended the public administration graduate school program at American University in Washington D.C., where he also had the opportunity to serve as an intern for the Senate Select Committee on Small Business.

During both his high school and college years, he played lead guitar in a variety of local bands, including the groups 'Jade,' 'Last Exit,'  'Heather,' and 'The Buck Byron Band.' After college, he went on to Marquette University Law School, where he graduated with a J.D. degree in 1982.


Dave Karp dropped out of the music scene from 1979 to 2005, instead, concentrating on building his law practice with his brother Jeff.


Dave Karp began re-entering the music scene by playing local Sunday night blues jam sessions. In 2005, he joined the Mission River Band on a full time basis, where he plays an even mix of keyboards and guitar.  Dave Karp also has sat in on keyboards, playing with the 50's group, 'Danny & The Juniors,' famous for their hit song, 'At the Hop.' 

He has been sitting in on keyboards on a number of local blues jam sessions held in Germantown, WI and in West Bend, WI.

Dave Karp is currently married with two children and lives in Mequon, WI.


Dave Karp's musical influences are quite diverse, but whatever roads it leads from, ultimately comes back to the blues; he counts as his influences, Big Bill Broonzy, Little Walter, Willie Dixon, Freddie King, Robert Johnson, and B.B. King. He counts as his favorite guitarists, Jimi Hendirx, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, and Bucky Pizzarelli. For keyboard influences, he includes, Lee Michaels, Brian Auger, Greg Allman, Ray Charles, Marcus Roberts and Steve Winwood.


Dave Karp is currently using for on stage amplification a Fender Blues Jr. Reissue (vintage style) all tube amplifier. His guitars of choice are a Fender Custom Shop Relic  Stratocaster 1956 reissue ('Blackie'), a Fender American Vintage Series 1952 Telecaster, a 1958 Gibson VOS Les Paul Custom Shop, and a 1959 Gibson custom shop Dot ES 335. He is currently using as sound effects,  a Vertex Dynamic Distortion pedal, and a Jim Dunlap Cry Baby Wah-Wah pedal.