October - December 2018: Billie Davies

Artist-in-Residence: Billie Davies

All of my music is improvisational... a conversation between musicians and musical instruments. A joint emotional expression inspired by a certain common feeling, thought or perspective in an instinctual, unpredictable, freely expressed improvisation exploring authentic feelings and inspirations that is being communicated to an audience, a listener, a community.
— Billie Davies, Artist Statement
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Billie Davies is a very accomplished free-jazz drummer. Born in Belgium, she now lives in New Orleans, having spent much of her life living peripatetically. Previous reviewers have made much of the self-taught nature of her drumming. 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... her stories explain her drumming...
— Chris Baber, Jazz Views (June 30, 2016)

Artist Bio: Billie Davies is an American female drummer and composer best known for her avant garde and avant-garde jazz compositions since the mid-1990s, and her improvisational drumming techniques.

The music of BILLIE DAVIES trio, A Nu Experience and other quartet or quintet line-ups, moves on from the Jazz, Avant-garde jazz world beyond Jazz with it's own very unique and truly improvisational style.

While living and playing in the South of France in 1984, Billie received a talent grant from Max Roach to study at Berklee College of Music. She made a permanent move to the US in December of 1986.Her 2012 release of “all about Love” solidified her position as a professional jazz musician. This recording of standards and original music, charted #1 in CMJ Jazz College Radio Charts for ‘top jazz add’ in new albums and went on to stay in the top 20 for 4 weeks. Also well received in Canada, the album ended up in the Top 10 on three different !Earshot Jazz charts. In October, 2013 Billie released “12 VOLT” which garnered national and international attention. CJ Bond, JAZZ MUSIC, wrote, “12 VOLT” features exclusively original compositions of Billie Davies, and adds the crucial tyne of 'composer/arranger' to her sterling artistic fork, augmenting fearless innovation. Jan Hocek of His Voice in Prague wrote: ”Without hesitation - HIGH VOLTAGE avant-garde JAZZ - one of the most remarkable trio albums of the year!" In 2013 Billie Davies received the "Jazz Artist of the Year" Award by the 23rd Annual Los Angeles Music Awards. In March of 2014 she moved to New Orleans where she has graced stages ever since and where she recorded her album "Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon" in 2015. She received more national and international attention due to a player feature in Downbeat Magazine May 2016 edition, "BILLIE DAVIES '20 Years Stronger'". "On Hollywood Boulevard", her CD released in 12/10/2016 became a January 2017 Editor's Pick on DownBeat.com. December 2017 Billie Davies was nominated for "Best Contemporary Jazz Artist" in New Orleans by OffBeat Magazine. Many Articles and reviews have been written on her music from Prague to Belgium to London to New York to San Jose.

We will be working on further exploring "PERSPECTIVES" and more perfecting our improvisational and neo-humanistic expressionist skills through abstraction in music.

The permanent line-up for the 3-month residency will be Billie Davies on drums, Evan Oberla on keys and trombone, Oliver Watkinson on bass and Iris P. vocals.