Kris Davis

JazzTimes describes Kris Davis as a pianist-composer who has become a singular talent on New York’s jazz scene. She is a thoughtful, creative, and resolutely unique artist who offers an “uncommon creative experience.” Davis, a Brooklyn-born pianist, was named one of the top musicians in New York in a 2012 New York Times article entitled “New Pilots at the Keyboard.” The newspaper said that Davis is a “sense of kaleidoscopic potential” and “uncommon creative adventure” in jazz music. Davis is a long-standing favorite among jazz enthusiasts and her peers. Jason Moran, a MacArthur “Genius Grant” honoree, has also praised her highly. He wrote: “A freethinking and gifted pianist on the stage, Davis lives in every note she plays. She is a versatile pianist who can tackle prepared piano, minimalism, and jazz standards all in one. “I consider her an honorary descentant of Cecil Taylor, and a welcome addition the fold,” Davis’s latest album is Capricorn Climber (“Clean Feed”) 2013, with Davis joined by fellow musicians Ingrid Laubrock on tenor saxophone, Mat Maneri (viola), Trevor Dunn on double-bass and Tom Rainey on drums. Davis’s debut as a recording leader was with Lifespan (Fresh Sound New Talent 2003), then followed by three more innovative and highly acclaimed albums on the Fresh Sound label, The Slightest Shift (2006), Rye Eclipse (2008) and Good Citizen (2010). Aeriol Piano, Davis’s solo piano album on Clean Feed in 2011, was featured on Best of the Year lists by The New York Times and JazzTimes. Davis composed the amazing arrangements for Tony Malaby, saxophonist and composer. The album Novela was released by Clean Feed in 2011. It also appeared on JazzTimes’ Best of the Year lists. The pianist also plays in the Paradoxical Frog, a collaborative group with Laubrock as well as drummer Tyshawn Srey. Their eponymous Clean Feed album from 2011 was on the Best of the Year lists of National Public Radio and The New York Times. Davis is a great leader and has performed with top musicians such as Paul Motian (Canada), Bill Frisell (USA), John Hollenbeck (USA), Michael Formanek, Mary Halvorson, and Tim Berne. Davis began playing piano when she was six years old. She studied classical music at the Royal Conservatory of Canada, and then started playing in the school’s jazz band at the age of 12. Davis earned a bachelor’s in Jazz Piano at the University of Toronto. She also attended the Banff Centre for the Arts jazz programs in 1997 and 2000. A Canada Council grant allowed the pianist to move to New York to study composition with Jim McNely. Another grant was granted to Benoit Delbecq to learn extended piano techniques in Paris. She is a graduate of the City College of New York with a master’s degree in Classical Composition and teaches at School for Improvised Music. Davis has been granted a Jazz Gallery residency to compose for her trio with John Hebert and Rainey in May 2013. The Shifting Foundation also awarded her a grant to record and compose large-ensemble projects. About her art, JazzTimes has declared: “Davis draws you in so effortlessly that the brilliance of what she’s doing doesn’t hit you until the piece has slipped past.” from

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