Xavier Davis (born 1971 in Grand Rapids, Michigan) is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, producer, and music educator who leads the Xavier Davis Trio. In addition to performing with the Christian McBride Big Band and other groups as a side man, he is currently an Associate Professor of Jazz Piano at Michigan State University, and taught at the Juilliard Jazz program at the Juilliard School for six years. He performed on the GRAMMY-winning album "The Good Feeling" with the Christian McBride Big Band. Davis was the Musical Director for the Boys Choir of Harlem for the 1999-2000 season. He appeared on the television series "Cosby as a pianist.
Davis became the first person to twice receive a prestigious New Works Grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation as part of Chamber Music America.
Davis came from a family of music educators, so he had an early start in music, studying piano at age 4, trombone at 8, and touring Europe before High School. He attended Interlochen Arts Academy for high school.
While performing with his college ensemble at the 1994 International Association of Jazz Educators convention in Boston, legendary vocalist Betty Carter caught his performance and brought him to New York to work exclusively with her group, the Betty Carter Trio.
Davis recognizes former Juilliard Jazz faculty chair and drummer Carl Allen, James Williams, and Billy Hart as mentors.
As a composer, arranger, Davis has worked for
Xavier has produced albums, film and commercial music including:
"Wise Children" by Tom Harrell (2004) (Bluebird),
"Easy to Love by Lizzie Thomas (2013) (CD Baby),
Xavier Davis has performed and recorded on more than 50 albums as a sideman for:
Davis plays with:
The New Jazz Composers Octet.,
The Christian McBride Big Band,
The Ron Blake Quartet,
As Band Leader:
Davis has released:
"Dance of Life" - JazzTimes Review,
"The Innocence of Youth" JazzTimes Review,
As Music Educator:
Davis is currently the Associate Professor of Jazz Piano at Michigan State University. He taught Jazz piano at The Juilliard School in New York City for six years.
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