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Caroline Davis

Mobile since her birth in Singapore, composer and saxophonist Caroline Davis’s music covers a wide range of styles, owed to her shifting environment as a child. As a leader, she has released six albums: Live Work & Play (2012), Doors: Chicago Storylines (2015), Heart Tonic (2018), Alula (2019), Anthems (2019), and Portals (2021). She won Downbeat’s Critic’s Poll Rising Star Alto- Saxophonist (2018) and was listed in both Downbeat’s Readers Poll (2021) and JazzTimes Expanded Critics Poll (2021). Her work has garnered much praise from NPR, The New York Times, The Wire, DownBeat, JazzTimes, and many international publications. Davis is active as both a side-person and a leader in a diverse set of music communities (jazz, improvised music, modern classical, R&B, folk). Davis has worked with Lee Konitz, Angelica Sanchez, The Femme Jam, Matt Mitchell, Terry Riley, Miles Okazaki, Thana Alexa, and Billy Kaye, to name a few. Her collaborations include My Tree (with Ben Hoffmann) and Persona (with Rob Clearfield). Awards and recognitions over the years have included Caroline in various mentorship communities: Sisters in Jazz (2006), Betty Carter Jazz Ahead (2011), and the Mutual Mentorship Initiative (2020). Davis was the recipient of CMA's Performance Plus Grant (2021), NYFA's City Artist Corps Grant (2021), Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship (2019-2020); and she has participated in several residency programs, including fellow-in-residence at The Jazz Gallery (2022) and composer-in-residence at MacDowell (2019). Her compositional practice integrates music with the cognitive sciences, anatomical structures, and the brain, influenced by her Ph.D in Music Cognition. Davis is an advocate for social justice in the realm of gender (developed in a co-taught Jazz & Gender course at The New School) as well as in the abolitionist movement (Justice for Keith Lamar).

Awards

Sisters in Jazz (2006) Downbeat Outstanding Soloist (2007) Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program (2011) DownBeat Critic's Poll #1 Rising Star Alto-Saxophonist (2018) MacDowell Fellow (2019) Jerome Foundation Fellow (2019-2020) NYFA Fellow (2021) Jazz Gallery Fellow (2022)


Tags

Album Review

Mike McGinnis + 9: Outing

Read "Outing" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Il nuovo album di Mike McGinnis si riallaccia a un'incisione del 2013 (Roadtrip, RKM) realizzata con un tentet d'identica strumentazione e un solo mutamento d'organico: Caroline Davis al sax contralto prende il posto di Matt Blostein. Dopo il successo del suo trio del 2017/18 con Steve Swallow e Paul Bley (ricordiamo i due album Sunnyside Recurring Dream e Singular Awakening) il clarinettista torna a evidenziare le sue doti di autore e arrangiatore in un medio organico che ...

1
Album Review

Caroline Davis’ Alula: Captivity

Read "Captivity" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro


Quote rosa in perfetto equilibrio in questo nuovo lavoro della quarantaduenne altosassofonista Caroline Davis, al secolo Caroline Rebecca Anson, alla testa di Alula, in edizione riveduta e corretta (con Chris Tordini e Tyshawn Sorey al posto di Matt Mitchell e Greg Saunier, oltre a Val Jeanty, giradischi ed elettronica), e in equilibrio anche il comparto acustico rispetto a quello--chiamiamolo--extra-acustico (con periodici inserti vocali), per un'opera decisamente fuori dagli schemi e da una mai auspicabile prevedibilità. Fisiologicamente marcata ...

1
Album Review

Yuhan Su: Liberated Gesture

Read "Liberated Gesture" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


«Quest'album rappresenta la libertà che stavo cercando--dice Yuhan Su--una variante di me più raffinata e un messaggio sul periodo in cui ci troviamo». Giunta al quarto disco in un decennio d'attività professionale a New York, la vibrafonista taiwanese conferma d'essere una strumentista di prim'ordine e soprattutto una compositrice e leader innovativa, in equilibrio tra post-bop e avanguardia. I segni erano evidenti nel suo precedente album per la Sunnyside (City Animals, 2018) inciso con un quintetto differente, dove ...

5
Album Review

Yuhan Su: Liberated Gesture

Read "Liberated Gesture" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


A remarkable feature of vibraphonist Yuhan Su's captivating fourth release as a leader, LIberated Gesture, is its cohesiveness and narrative quality. Even though only three tracks are part of a suite, common motifs and logical transitions interconnect all ten. This and the sublime balance between the emotional and the cerebral endows the work with its enchanting impressionism. Pianist Matt Mitchell sets an expectant mood on “Naked Swimmer" with his percussive and sparse chords. Mitchell, together with drummer Dan ...

2
Radio & Podcasts

Caroline Davis, Hery Paz & Niescier/Reid/Harris

Read "Caroline Davis, Hery Paz & Niescier/Reid/Harris" reviewed by Maurice Hogue


Highlights: Captivity, the new recording by saxophonist Caroline Davis is a pointedly social justice album focused on creating reflection, interrogation and amplification of the essential conversation around incarceration, the prison industrial complex & abolition. It's a very powerful project. Another excellent alto player, Germany's Angelika Niescier hooked up with premier cellist Tomeka Reid and drummer Savannah Harris for their new release, Beyond Dragons, and it's one of the best of the year. Another trio from that pool of transplanted Cuban ...

1
Radio & Podcasts

Caroline Davis, Legraux Tobrogoï, De Beren Gieren, Jamire Williams & Other New Releases

Read "Caroline Davis, Legraux Tobrogoï, De Beren Gieren, Jamire Williams & Other New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


A transatlantic collection of amazing new releases, building bridges between the US and the Belgian, French and British scenes.Happy listening!Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00 Legraux Tobrogoï “Arrête ton char" Pantagruel résolu (Self-released) 0:16 Host talks 5:44 Sébastien Texier “Another Country -Dédié à James Baldwin" We Celebrate Freedom Fighters! (Cristal) 6:52 Host talks 13:23 Joachim Caffonnette Extended “Bittersweet Times" Bittersweet Times (Hypnote) 14:35 Caroline Davis “Highlighter Hearts" Portals, Volume ...

Radio & Podcasts

New releases and a focus on Caroline Davis

Read "New releases and a focus on Caroline Davis" reviewed by Bob Osborne


On this episode of the show you'll hear new releases from Ben Wilcock, Jake Baxendale and Jasmine Lovell-Smith, William Parker as a leader, and, Francisco Mela featuring Matthew Shipp and William Parker as a sideman. There's also a deep dive into jny: Chicago jazz in 2015 with a focus on alto saxophonist Caroline Davis and various bands she was involved with.Playlist Ben Wilcock “Sol Draconi Septum" from The River Tethys (Thick Records) 00:00 Jake Baxendale and Jasmine Lovell-Smith ...

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5

Recording

"Doors: Chicago Storylines," New CD By Alto Saxophonist/Composer Caroline Davis, Due Nov. 6

"Doors: Chicago Storylines," New CD By Alto Saxophonist/Composer Caroline Davis, Due Nov. 6

Source: Terri Hinte Publicity

Following the release of her much-praised 2012 debut, Live Work & Play, alto saxophonist and composer Caroline Davis relocated from jny: Chicago to jny: New York City and got to work on an ambitious project that had been germinating for seven years. To honor her eight-year residency in Chicago, she combines spoken stories and original compositions on her new CD Doors: Chicago Storylines, which will be released by ears&eyes Records on November 6. Joining her on Doors are longtime members ...

2

Recording

Chicago-based Alto Saxophonist Caroline Davis Debuts On CD With "Live Work & Play" Nov. 6

Chicago-based Alto Saxophonist Caroline Davis Debuts On CD With "Live Work & Play" Nov. 6

Source: Terri Hinte Publicity

Caroline Davis's star has been rising in Chicago. She’s been called “one of the city’s strongest and most exciting jazz saxophonists” (Chicago Reader) whose “musical development over the last three years has been nothing short of startling” (Chicago Music). On November 6, Davis brings her music to a national audience and beyond with the release of her powerful and compelling debut album, Live Work & Play (Ears & Eyes Records). Featuring her quartet of Mike Allemana (guitar), Matt Ferguson (bass), ...

"One of 2012’s best local CDs, Live Work & Play, features six intriguing originals, a lovely arrangement of Billy Strayhorn’s Blood Count by guitarist Michael Allemana and a romp through Charlie Parker’s Cheryl. Davis is just at home in totally free settings, much like Lee Konitz, who, with her smeary tone and intelligent lines, she somewhat resembles.” - Michael Jackson, Chicago Sun Times, 2012

“All in all, proof that there is superb jazz still emerging from America's Second City.” - Jon Turney, Londonjazz.blogspot.co.uk, 2012

"But if you've heard Davis in the past year, you already know that her own playing provides all the validation she needs." - Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, 2012

Primary Instrument

Saxophone

Location

New York City

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced

Lee Konitz
saxophone, alto
Suzanne Ciani
keyboards

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Hearts of Palm

XJAZZ Music
2024

buy

Outing

Sunnyside Records
2024

buy

Liberated Gesture

Sunnyside Records
2023

buy

Captivity

Ropeadope
2023

buy

Where We Started

Tone Rogue Records
2020

buy

Alula

New Amsterdam Records
2019

buy

Videos

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