XXII DR JAZZ FESTIVAL – KNOW THE ARTISTS: KENNY DAVIS
Kenny is a native of Chicago, Illinois. Kenny’s career began with listening to such great R&B artists such as: Earth Wind & Fire, Brothers Johnson and The Temptations, just to name a few. First being self taught, he then studied music theory with David Holder Sr. He then went on to Northeastern Illinois University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education.
Upon entering Northeastern University, he discovered jazz music and he quickly became part of the Chicago jazz scene, playing with Von Freedman, Ari Brown and Fred Anderson. Later, he went on to study classical bass with Warren Benfield of the
Chicago Symphony, and had a number of lessons with Jeffrey Bradetich. Some of his jazz influences are Ray Brown, Paul Chambers and Ron Carter. In addition, he also was influenced by the following electric bass musicians: Jaco Pastorius and Verdin White.
…music arranger for a song on the Grammy Award winning CD by artist Cassandra Wilson, “Blue Light Till Dawn”.
He moved to New York in 1986, where he played with Out of the Blue (OTB), and then quickly adapted to the New York scene. While there, he also made a living by doing sessions and jingles. In New York, he began appearing with such artists as: Freddie Hubbard, Cassandra Wilson, Abbey Lincoln, Diane Reeves and Art Farmer, while studying music with Ron Carter.
One of the highlights of his career was being a music arranger for a song on the Grammy Award winning CD by artist Cassandra Wilson, “Blue Light Till Dawn”.
Throughout the 90’s, Davis toured with such notable jazz artists as Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves and Art Farmer. In 1999, Kenny Davis got the call from Kevin Eubanks, then band leader/music director of The Tonight Show Band. Davis was the bassist of The Tonight Show Band from September, 1999 thru March, 2002.
In June, 2002, Kenny Davis moved back to New York and he is again touring, recording and teaching. In May 2006 he recieved his Masters in Music (MA) from Rutgers University.
Kenny was the bass teacher at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) from 2003 thru 2009. Also, in May 2006 Kenny received his Master of Music (MA) from Rutgers University. In 2009 Kenny released his first CD as a leader, Kenny Davis on Daken Records.
- Herbie Hancock Japan 4/99, Japan, Australia, Korea, 10-11/96
- Art Farmer USA, 4/98
- Dianne Reeves Japan, 3/98 & Europe, 10-11/97
- Gabrielle Goodman Europe, 1/95
- Sathima Benjamin South Africa, 10/94
- Ray Anderson Europe, 5/94
- Abstract Truth Europe, 8-9/92
- Art Farmer Japan, 5/91
- Jimmy Owens Central Amercia, 5/87
- Third Kind of Blue Europe 3-4/87
- Michael Urbaniak Poland. 10/86
- Panther 1995
- Voice in the Street 1986
- Stop Look and Listen: Will Downing & Gerald Albright Pleasures of the Night (CD)
- METAL GEAR SOLID 2 – Sons of Liberty for PlayStation 2 2001
- International Diet Coke w/ Elton John 10/1991
- Geri Allen, Geri Allen & Timeline Live, Motema Music, 2010
- Carmen Lundy, Changes, Afrasia Productions, 2012
- Kenny Davis, Kenny Davis, Daken Records 2009
- Carla Cook, Simply Natural, Maxjazz 2002
- Ron McCurdy Quintet, Once Again for the First Time, Innova 2001
- Carla Cook, It’s All About Love, Maxjazz, 1999
- Cecil Bridgewater, Mean What You Say, Brownstone, 1998
- Regina Carter, Something for Grace, Atlantic, 1997
- Rodney Jones, The X Fiel, d Music Masters, 1996
- Art Farmer, The Meaning of Art Arabesque, 1995
- Don Byron, Music for Six Musicians, Nonesuch, 1995
- Art Farmer, The Company I Kee, Arabesque, 1994
- Cassandra Wilson, Blue Light Til Dawn, Grammy Winner, Blue Note, 1993
- Steve Coleman & Five Elements, The TAO of Mad Phat Fringed Zones, Novus, 1993
- Art Framer, Live at Sweet Basils, Sweet Basil’s Records, 1992
- Don Byron, Tuskeegee Experiments, RCA, 1991
- Will Downing, A Dream Fulfilled Island, Records, 1990
- Keith Washington, Make Time for Love, Qwest, 1990
- Onaje Allan Gumbs, Dare to Dream, MCA, 1989
- Kevin Eubanks, The Searcher, GRP, 1988
- Sonny Fortune, Invitations Much Such, 1988
- Cassandra Wilson, Day Aweigh, JMT, 1987
- Out of the Blue, O.T.B Live at Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival, O.T.B/Blue Note, 1986
Kenny Davis Has Performed With:
Carmen Lundy, Geri Allen, George Duke, Barry Manilow, Cyndi Lauper, Jose Feliciano, Out of the Blue (OTB), Third Kind of Blue, Dianne Reeves, Jimmy Owens, Michael Urbaniak, Herbie Hancock, Kevin Eubanks, Art Farmer, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Abbey Lincoln, Rachelle Ferrell, Lenny White, Steve Coleman, Vanessa Rubin, Cassandra Wilson, Al Grey, David Murry, Harold Vick, Ronnie Mathews, KD Lang, Reba McEntire, Berth Hurt, Al Green, Slide Hampton, Chico Freeman, Jimmy Health, Johnny Griffin, Dakota Staton, Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Harris, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Stanley Jordan, Roberta Flack, Don Byron, Will Downing, Bob James, Wallace Roney, Della Reese, Sonny Fortune, Woody Shaw, Lyle Lovett, Burt Bacharach, Alecia Elliott, Willie Nelson, Mark Knopfier, Jewel, Javon Jackson, Steve Turre, Akua Dixon
- Most Outstanding Bassist, NAJE Jazz Festival, Notre Dame University
- Most Improved Bassist, Northeastern Illinois University, 1982