Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Davis, Deborah (Denise)
Davis, Deborah (Denise), vocalist, poet, lyricist, actress; b. Dallas, TX, 3 April 1956. Her parents are Madie B Davis b.1923 (seamstress & pattern maker) and Douglas Eugene Davis, Sr. b.1924-1981 (mechanic, died of Leukemia. She has three sisters, Carol b.1947; Kathy b. 1953, and Althea b.1961. She has one brother, Douglas Jr. b.1957. She's a Lincoln High School Graduate (1974) Dallas, TX. She got her BME in Music Education at North Texas State University (1980) Denton, TX. She got an AA in Recording Engineering at Cedar Valley College (1983), Dallas, TX. She has also studied acting and dance. She moved to New York City in 1986.
She sang in Church starting with the children's chorus, but her first inspirations towards a jazz career were from her high school choir director Robert Sanders who added her on his weekend gigs. From that time on there was never a question as to what she would be when she grew up. Those early years were spent singing in gospel ensembles, background vocals, commercial jingles and, leading R&B and jazz ensembles throughout the Dallas area. After college Deborah gained invaluable experience leading her own bands in cabaret performances and opening for artist like Bobbi Humphrey, Debra Laws and Angela Bofill. Deborah also showcased her singing, acting, and dancing talents in local theater productions of The Wiz, Porgy and Bess, Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, and her leadership skills as production manager in Zooman And The Sign.
Her musical development brought her to New York City in 1986, where she has settled. She has shared the stage with Ray Brown, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey, Lou Donaldson, Harold Mabern, Benny Green, Delfeayo Marsalis, James Williams, Cyrus Chestnut, Marc Cary, Russell Malone, Chris McBride, and many others. Deborah has gained international recognition during extensive tours annually of Europe, and Asia. She has performed with The Shirells (Singapore tour), Steven Scott Orchestras, Hank Lane Orchestras, The Supper Club Orchestra, and runs her own company Manhattan Music Design, booking entertainment and performing special events for many of New York's elite cliental. She has also continued her theater work with performances in Beehive (Japan tour), b (NYC) and Sh-Boom (NYC). Deborah (who is also known as Debo) proudly adds to her list of life accomplishments the completion of a 26.2-mile fundraising marathon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training, and ongoing annual benefit concerts at New York's Blue Note Jazz Club, to raise funds for that cause.
Recordings, broadcasts and films:
Only Part Of Me (2002); Live Radio Interviews through out America, Europe, Asia; Jazz Here And Now Show, Ch.13 KERA, Live TV Broadcast, Dallas, TX; True Stories, Principal Extra: Movie w/ David Burn Director; Colt 45, Extra: Commercial w/ Billie D. Williams