Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Davis, Steve (Stephen Kimball)

Davis, Steve (Stephen Kimball), trombonist, composer, educator; b. Worcester, MA, 14 April 1967. As a young child lived briefly in Syracuse, NY, Horseheads, NY and Fair Haven, MA before journalist father (Jeffery Davis b.1945) mother (Sydney Munger b. 1944) and brother (Peter b. 1971) settled in Binghamton, NY in 1973. 

Early musical exposure via father's jazz/blues record collection, visits with semi-professional pianist grandmother (Elizabeth Clark Munger 1917-'86) and with journalist/amateur trumpeter grandfather (Kimball Davis 1912-'99). Steve began trumpet at age 9, switched to euphonium at age 10, then to tuba at age 13. Picked up trombone at age 14. By age 15, was pursuing jazz music, performing both in school and at local jazz club The Music Box. Attended SUNY Binghamton Summer Jazz Workshops (Al Hamme, director) and played with Harpur College Jazz Ensemble (Mike Holober, director) 1982-84. Played in Binghamton Youth Symphony (1983-85) and attended NY State Music Camp (1983-'86, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY). 

Went on to study at Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, CT (1986-'89). Met future wife, pianist Mary DiPaola (b.1968). Received B.Mus. under tutelage of Jackie McLean. Other teachers included Al Lepak, Jaki Byard, Hotep Galeta, Nat Reeves and classmate Antoine Roney. Classical trombone studies with Ron Borror. Introduced by McLean to trombone mentors Curtis Fuller, Grachan Moncur III and Steve Turre. Early teaching experience at Artist's Collective (Hartford, CT 1987-89). Gained experience sitting in at 880 Club with Eddie Henderson, Junior Cook and Pepper Adams and house musicians Don DePalma(piano), Nat Reeves(bass) and Larry DiNatale(drums). 

First NYC gig with Charli Persip's Superband (1988). Moved to NYC (August 1989), sat-in regularly at Augie's with Jesse Davis. Upon Jackie McLean's recommendation joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (Dec.'89) at Sweet Basil (NYC). Was last musician to join Jazz Messengers and remained with Blakey until his death (Oct. 1990). Brief stints subbing in Elvin Jones' Jazz Machine (Dec.'90-Jan. '91) and Lionel Hampton's Orchestra (1991, 93). Co-led quintet with Leon Parker feat. Mark Turner, Brad Mehldau, Ugonna Okegwo (1991-92). Joined faculty African-American Music Dept. Hartt School (Sept. 1991-present). He moved to Hartford, CT (May 1992).

He was a member of the Jackie McLean Sextet (Feb.1992 - Sept. 97). Toured with McLean extensively including Village Vanguard, Blue Note (NYC), Montreal, Vienne and North Sea Festivals, Japan, S.America and U.S. State Deptartment Tour of Southern Africa (1993). When not on tour with McLean, led Hartford-based Explorers Orchestra and Explorers Quintet. Performed regularly at City's Edge (1994-96) in Hartford, CT.
Co-founded collectively led sextet One For All with Eric Alexander, Jim Rotondi, David Hazeltine, Peter Washington, Joe Farnsworth (1996-present). They made regular appearances at Augies, Smalls, Jazz Standard and Smoke (NYC). Work in U.S. Europe Tours (Nov. 2000, summer 2003). Several recordings on Sharp Nine, Criss Cross, Venus labels. He did freelance work with Roy Hargrove and Mingus Dynasty Big Bands (1996-97) and Michael Weiss (1996-2002).

His work with bassist Avishai Cohen led to being hired by Chick Corea (Sept.1997). Toured and recorded with Chick Corea & Origin extensively, incl. major clubs, jazz festivals. Performed with London & Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestras and with special guests, Gary Burton, Bobby Hutcherson, Wallace Roney, received grammy nomination for CD "Change" (1999). He had a cover article in Downbeat (March, 2000).

Between 1997-2000, when not on tour with Corea, continued working with Avishai Cohen Sextet, One For All and occasionally led own quintet feat. Mike DiRubbo (alto sax). Listed in Downbeat TDWR Critic/Reader Polls (Trombone) 1998-present. Won TDWR (Trombone) Critic's Poll 2001.
He's been a member of the New Jazz Composers Octet (2001-present). Extensive tours with Freddie Hubbard & New Jazz Composers Octet (2001-present) incl. Iridium, Apollo Theater (NYC), Scullers (Boston), US/European tours. He's freelanced with Nicholas Payton, Stefon Harris, Mike LeDonne, Steve Wilson & Dena DeRose (2000-2002). During this period, led own Quintet at Smoke (NYC), Hartford Jazz Society Concerts and San Jose Jazz Festival (Aug. 2000).

He's been a member of Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band/Sextet (2001-present). Member, Slide Hampton's World of Trombones (2001-present). Featured with Stanford Jazz All-Stars incl. Phil Woods, Harold Mabern, Jimmy Cobb, Eric Alexander, Claudio Roditi, Christian McBride, Benny Green (Aug. 2001).

He appeared with Cecil Payne Quintet featuring Ron Carter, Birdland (NYC) April 2002. Worked with Carnegie Hall Jazz Band (June 2002). He did a US/European tour with Claudia Acuna (summer, 2002), a Japan tour with Eric Alexander Quintet feat. Harold Mabern (Oct. 2002), and a European tour with Abraham Burton Quintet (Nov. 2002). Appeared with Larry Willis Quintet feat. Slide Hampton, Buster Williams, Ben Reily, Smoke (Mar. 2003). When not on tour, Steve runs weekely jam session at Kenneys' Bar & Restaurant in Hartford, CT.

Steve resides in West Hartford, CT with his wife Mary and two children Tony (8 yrs.) and Angelina (15 mos.) and continues on faculty at the Hartt School's Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, University of Hartford, CT (1991-present). He also taught at North Netherlands Conservatory (2004-05). He was also on the faculty of the New England Conservatory (2003). He has been on the faculty of the Stanford Jazz Workshop 2001-2003 and Artist's Collective (Hartford, CT) 1988-96. At age 36, he remains busy composing, teaching and performing nationally and internationally. When not on tour, Steve runs a weekly jam session at Kenneys' Bar & Restaurant in Hartford, CT.

The Moon Knows (1996); The Jaunt (1996); Dig Deep (1997); Crossfire (1998); Vibe Up (1999); Explorers Quintet: New Terrain (2000); Portrait In Sound (2000); Systems Blue (2002); Meant To Be (2004); Alone Together (2004)
As sideperson:
Chick Corea and Origin: Origin - Live at the Blue Note (1998), Live at the Blue Note/Box Set (1998), Change (1999), Spain (1999), Miami Jam (2000), Originations  (2000), Rendez-vous (2003); One For All: Too Soon To Tell  (1997), Optimism (1998), The Long Haul (2000), End Of A Love Affair (2001), Live at Smoke (2001), Wide Horizons (2003); Avishai Cohen: Adama (1997), Devotion (1999), Colours (2000); Jackie McLean: Rhythm of the Earth (1992), Fire and Love (1997); Art Blakey: Chippin' In (1990), One For All (1990); Eric Alexander: Man With A Horn (1997), Mode For Mabes  (1997); Jimmy Greene: Introducing Jimmy Greene (1997), Brand New World  (1999); Jim Rotondi: Excursions (1998), Destination Up! (2001); Dena DeRose: Another World (1998), Love's Holiday (2002); Cecil Payne: Payne's Window (1998); Joe Farnsworth: Beautiful Friendship (1998); Mike DiRubbo: From the Inside Out (1994); Leon Parker: Belief (1995); Peter Bernstein: Brain Dance (1996); Mary DiPaola-Davis: Cat's Cradle (1996); John Swana: In the Moment (1995); Freddy Cole: Merry Go Round (1999); Paul Bollenback: Soul Grooves (1998); Susan Tobacman: Watercolor Dream (1997); Johnny King: The Meltdown (1997); Conrad Herwig: Osteology (1998); David Williams: Ping Pong Obsession (2000); Andy LaVerne: Jam Session (2000); Freddie Hubbard and the New Jazz Composer's Octet: New Colors (2001); Vanessa Rubin: Girl Talk (2001); David Hazeltine: Good Hearted People (2001); Faye Claassen (2001, yet to be released); Roz Corrault (2001, yet to be released); Mike LeDonne: Tribute to Milt Jackson (2001); Wayne Shorter: Allegria (2003); Slide Hampton's World of Trombones: Spirit of the Horn (2002); Steve Turre: One 4 Jay (2003); Michael Weiss: Soul Journey (2003); New Jazz Composers Octet: Walkin' The Line (2002); Willie Jones III: Don't Knock The Swing (2002); Sumiko Fukatso: Catch A Rainbow (2003); Soleno Clarke: Live at Smoke (2003); Andy Bey: American Song (2004)

Greg Banaszak: Steve Davis, in: Jazz Player (Apr/May 1997) (sheet music)

Contact information:
(e-mail) stevedavis67@aol.com
(website) www.stevedavis.info
(vc.mail) 212-642-8151
(address) The Hartt School/Univ. of Hartford
200 Bloomfield Ave.  W. Hartford, CT  06117

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