Jon Davis

Jon Davis, pianist and composer, has been touring and performing with some of the best jazz musicians in the world for over 25 years. Over 50 recordings have featured him, many of which he has composed. While he is most well-known for his association with Jaco Pastorius the legendary bassist and composer, Jon has displayed rare versatility, ranging from solo to Big Band and everything in between. Jon was born in New York and began playing guitar and piano in his teens. Jon moved to Boston to study at the New England Conservatory after a brief stint with Lennie Tristano. He would have enjoyed studying with Jaki Byard and Madam Chaloff, but he felt that “on the job training”, was his calling. After a year, he quit NEC and began gigging around Boston. Jon moved to San Francisco in early 1980’s. He would make his mark in San Francisco, where he worked regularly with the John Handy Quintet, Eddie Henderson, Johnny Coles and Buddy Montgomery. He was also playing with jazz legends Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard and had established himself as a prominent figure on the Bay Area’s freelance scene. He formed a partnership with Jaco, which would go on for several years. They would also tour Europe in the late 80’s and record five records. The “fusion” side was released under the name “Brian Melvins Nightfood”, featuring Bob Weir (of The Grateful Dead) and Jon’s composition “Did You Hear That Monie”, however, it was the “trio date”, which was also released under Brians, Standards Zone. Jon has received international praise and critical acclaim as both a musician and composer of “Wedding Waltz”, originally recorded on this record. It is Jaco’s only piano trio recording and has become a timeless jazz recording. Standards Zone was described by Musician magazine. It has a distinct air of genius. Jon decided it was time for him to return to New York after doing “almost everything” in the world. Jon has been working in almost every setting since his return in the early 1990’s. Jon was the house pianist at The Blue Note and led a session at Smalls in the early days. He also had a five-year steady engagement at Sweet Basil, where he played with Ilhan Ersahin (the founder of the NuBlu scene, club, and scene). Jon was traveling around Turkey as part of Ilhanā€™s quartet, which resulted in a few recordings with Eddie Henderson, Larry Grenadier and Brian Blade, among others. Christian Havel, an Austrian guitarist, was also his bandleader. This included Dennis Irwin, the late great bassist. He was also a frequent tour guide in Europe and recorded several songs. Jon moved to the Four Seasons Hotel as the house pianist. He also maintained a busy teaching schedule at The New School, where he teaches a lot of electric bass. The latest projects continue to be interesting and varied. Jon toured South Korea with Beatle Jazz, performed at the Hague Festival with Joris Teepe Big band, and returned to Lucerne Switzerland for a jazz piano festival. After a four-year stint at Smoke Jazz Club, Jon has been with the Bill Mobley Band for the past two year and has enjoyed a regular gig at Birdland. Jon has become a more active leader. He first released a solo album, “How Insensitive and other Ballads”. The Venus label released “Beauty and the Blues”, a trio recording, and Jon’s debut on the POSI TONE label with “One up Front”. Jon leads the Jon Davis Duo, as well as a trio, at many of New York’s best jazz venues, including The Kitano Lounge and The Knickerbocker Grill, Smalls and Fat Cat. Jon has recorded and performed alongside many musicians, including Stan Getz and Tootie heath, Eddie Harris and Mike Stern. from

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