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Billie Davies

“Billie Davies is an accomplished free-jazz drummer. Born in Belgium, she now lives in New Orleans, having spent much of her life living peripatetically. The press release and liner notes of this CD are full of stories and these provide both an introduction and, I think, an explanation of her playing. Previous reviewers have made much of the self-taught nature of her drumming. While this is a feature of one of the stories in the press release, I defy any listener to distinguish her playing from someone ‘schooled’ in jazz drumming. There is a vitality and fluidity in the way that she plays the drum kit and this is what I mean by the idea that her stories explain her drumming; she speaks through the drums to the other players, asking questions of them and replying with the fusion of styles that she has built up over her travels” —Chris Baber, Jazz Views (Jun 30, 2016)

By 1977 Billie was working in the Private Night Club sector as a DJ in Cologne, Germany. That set the stage for a successful DJ career in Belgium a few years later, she remembers "Les Cinq Anneaux" where she packed the house every weekend. She became one of the top DJs in demand in Private Night Clubs, Disco Clubs and Bars.

Aged 25 Davies started the transition to become a professional musician.

She played and performed all over Europe, in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece for the next 7 years.

At a crossroads in her musical career, in 1984, while living and performing in the South of France (Montpellier, Toulouse, Biarritz, La Rochelle), Billie ended up receiving a grant from Max Roach to come study at Berklee College of Music, this was after he heard one of her tapes she laid down with a bass player in Montpellier, France. Billie was however having too much fun in the south of France, living the life of a gypsy jazz musician and therefore decided not to take the offer. In his words: "Hearing from your tape, you could learn more fundamental drumming techniques, but I also hear the natural drummer, so my advice is for you not to worry too much about your technical skill, you will develop your own, I can definitely hear that, but just in case that you might want to study in a good program, please accept my invitation in the form of a talent grant to come study at the Berklee College of Music, all you need to worry about is finding a place to live and some money to survive".

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Billie Davies has been nominated "Best Drummer" for the Best Of The Beat Awards 2019. The OffBeat Music and Cultural Arts Foundation’s Best of the Beat Nominations are in. We solicited nominations from musicians and many others in the music community. We then gave the results to our writers and editors and with input from both, determined the nominations in each category. Click here to vote! The public starts voting on December 26 at OffBeat.com and voting ends on January 15. Winners will be announced at the Best of the Beat, which will be held at the New Orleans Jazz Market on Thursday January 30. This is the second time that Billie has been nominated for her exceptional talent since she has moved to New Orleans. The 2017 Best Of The Beat awards nominated her for Best Contemporary Jazz Artist. Billie would like to express her sincere thanks for the recognition. HER MUSIC IS IT'S OWN ORIGINAL BEAST Billie Davies is an American jazz drummer and composer best known for her free and avant-garde jazz compositions since the mid-1990s, and her improvisational drumming techniques. The music of BILLIE DAVIES line-ups moves beyond Jazz with it's own unique and truly improvisational style "...reminding us sometimes of many different things but in the end, it is its own original beast, as powerful as anything more well-known musicians have created.. Jerome Wilson, All About Jazz". On her latest album: PERSPECTIVES II BILLIE DAVIES TRIO REVIEWED IN JAZZ VIEWS “Given the melting pot that New Orleans continues to be for jazz, it is not surprising that Davies has based herself here, nor that the musicians she gathers around her are not easy to pigeon-hole into one style of jazz (or even one style of music in any wider sense). This is another very successful experiment by Davies in mining the creative depths of improvised music making, producing a sound that cannot be simply labelled as jazz (even if it fully has the swing of jazz in all of the pieces brought by Davies and Watkinson in their dynamic partnership) and which really does respond to the cosmic dimensions of its inspiration.” - Chris Baber, Jazz Views (May, 2019)

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Pharoah Sanders
saxophone, tenor
Ornette Coleman
saxophone, alto
Miles Davis
trumpet
Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
Sun Ra
piano
Max Roach
drums

Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Whadeva (Live at...

Self Produced
2020

buy

Perspectives II

Self Produced
2018

buy

On Hollywood Boulevard

Self Produced
2016

buy

Hand In Hand In The...

Cobra Basement
2015

buy

12 VOLT

Cobra Basement
2013

buy

All About Love

Self Produced
2012

buy

Whadeva 3

From: Whadeva (Live at Dangerous Art...
By Billie Davies

Art

From: Perspectives II
By Billie Davies

Palm Trees

From: On Hollywood Boulevard
By Billie Davies

The Girl In The Window

From: On Hollywood Boulevard
By Billie Davies

v. The Shark In The Hand

From: Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The...
By Billie Davies

Meeting Manitas

From: ~ 12 VOLT ~ (Promotional...
By Billie Davies

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