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Ruth Davies

Photos on the Steinway grand in Ruth's living room reflect her musical career. Several pictures get one's attention. Her mother, a music teacher, inspired Ruth to earn a music Bachelor of Arts degree. Mom poses with Dad in front of a venerable Harley Davidson motorbike. There's a group of young musicians glowing during a workshop. Ruth embracing Toots Thielemans in a Baku caravansary. Ruth playing at Bill Clinton's inauguration. Ruth hamming it up with singer Jackie Ryan and composer Amina Figarova. Some photos include celebrities or famous musicians. Others simply grab one's interest. What a life Ruth has had!

Ruth has performed with such jazz and blues greats as Keb' Mo', Charles Brown, Clark Terry, John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, Jay McShann, Van Morrison, Maria Muldaur, Junior Mance, Barbara Morrison, Etta Jones, Terry Gibbs, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Little Jimmy Scott.

Her discography (including several Platinum and Grammy-winning CDs) covers various jazz and blues styles as well as movie soundtracks. She has recorded with Charles Brown, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, Van Morrison, Clark Terry, Vassar Clements, Toots Thielemans, Ernie Watts, Elvin Bishop, Maria Muldaur, Jackie Ryan, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others.

She toured the world for ten years with the late Charles Brown, performing at major jazz festivals and concerts and on radio and television broadcasts worldwide. Ruth continues to spend considerable time abroad. She has recorded and performed internationally with Maria Muldaur, Denise Jannah, Dmitri Matheny and European pianist/composer Amina Figarova. Lately she has "returned to the roots" and travels with Elvin Bishop's band.

Ruth believes in teaching and in bringing music to the public schools. She has been on the faculty at the Stanford Jazz Workshop for 17 years and has had a very successful "Ruth Davies Blues Night" series at the Stanford Jazz Festival. The San Francisco Symphony’s "Adventures in Music" program and the "Just Say Jazz" project deliver music education to the classroom. By any conservative estimate, Ruth has presented music programs to over two thousand school groups. That's a serious commitment.

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent," said Victor Hugo. Perhaps that is the key to Ruth's musical life.


Grammys, Platinums, Grammy nominations


Album Review

Taj Mahal: Savoy

Read "Savoy" reviewed by Steve Yip

Folk/blues practitioner Taj Mahal's Savoy is to be savored. As one of the custodians of the blues, Mahal has long been a legend in his own time. This collection traverses a cultural-musical continuum in an indispensable residency in the annals of Black American music. The namesake of this album--the Savoy on Lenox Avenue in Harlem--was known as The World's Finest Ballroom and Home Of Happy Feet. In the pre-Civil Rights era, the North claimed formal equality, but segregation ...

Album Review

Taj Mahal: Savoy

Read "Savoy" reviewed by Dave Linn

Savoy, from Taj Mahal, is the latest entrant in the crowded field of pop music artists trying their hand at the fertile songbook of old big-band, swing-era standards. Unlike most, Mahal's roots show he's well suited to the task. He was born in Harlem in 1942. He grew up in a musical family, and his parents were both involved in the arts. His father was a jazz pianist and arranger, working with Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Fletcher Henderson among ...

Album Review

Roberta Donnay: Blossom-ing!

Read "Blossom-ing!" reviewed by Pierre Giroux

Pianist, vocalist and composer Blossom Dearie may have been diminutive in stature and voice but certainly never in talent. She began her career in New York in the mid 1940s and then moved to Paris in the early 1950s to form the vocal group The Blue Stars, which eventually morphed into the Swingle Singers. Returning to the US in the 1960s, she began a solo career and gained international recognition through her wry interpretation of unusual song choices as well ...

Album Review

Roberta Donnay: Blossom-ing!

Read "Blossom-ing!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Blossom-ing! is vocalist Roberta Donnay's tribute to one of the most memorable jazz singers who ever lived, Blossom Dearie. She does so via sixteen songs associated with Dearie including Billie Holiday's “Billie's (or Blossom's) Blues," retitled here “Roberta's Blues." After leading with that one, Donnay lends her tremulous little-girl voice (eerily similar to Dearie's) to one of Dearie's best-known themes, “Peel Me a Grape," before scanning the others. Unlike Dearie, Donnay doesn't accompany herself at the piano, ...

Read more articles
"Ruth Davies' stand-up bass struts with the spring and precision of a dancer." - Nicky Baxter




Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Stony Plain Records



Self Produced


Spiritu Sancto

Papillon Recordings


The SnowCat

Papillon Recordings



Papillon Recordings


Santa's Got A Brand...

Papillon Recordings


Take Me Out To The Ballgame

From: Spiritu Sancto
By Ruth Davies


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