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Keith Davis inducted into Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame

Keith Davis (foreground) rehearsing for Savannah Jazz Festival

Furman music faculty member and jazz pianist Keith Davis has performed at the annual Savannah Jazz Festival many times. But the festival that took place in his birthplace in September was particularly memorable. At this year’s festival, Davis was inducted into the Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame, and his good friend and drummer Quentin Baxter was also inducted. Said Davis, who performed at the event with Baxter, renowned saxophonist Javon Jackson and bassist Delbert Felix, “It was a singular thrill to be honored this way in the city of my birth.”

Davis has established a distinguished reputation as a jazz pianist, composer, and educator during his more than 30 years as a professional musician. He has toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Artie Shaw Orchestra, and Matt “Guitar” Murphy (Blues Brothers).

Davis has also performed with such great musicians as David “Fathead” Newman, Ben Riley, Donald Byrd, Mike Mainieri, Pat LaBarbera, Jeff Hershfield, Jamie Baum, Joel Spencer and Rakalam Bob Moses.

He served on the faculty of the Brevard College (N.C.) Summer Jazz Workshop from 1998 through 2000, with guest artists including Conrad Herwig, Byron Stripling, Ronnie Cuber and Wycliffe Gordon.

Davis has studied with respected Atlanta jazz instructor Ted Howe. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, during which time he also studied with renowned saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi.

His participation in the 1985 Banff Summer Jazz Workshop in Alberta, Canada included intensive study with such faculty members as Dave Liebman, Dave Holland, John Abercrombie, Don Thompson, Kenny Wheeler and Cecil Taylor.

A resident of Greenville, Davis serves as Adjunct Instructor of Jazz Piano at Furman. He performs regularly with his trio, Ron Brendle, bass, and Justin Watt, drums. He is also involved with the Greenville Jazz Collective, which presents performances and educational programs.

Davis, who also teaches privately, has released two CDs of original music, Still, by the Keith Davis Trio, with Ron Brendle and Justin Watt, and Presence, solo piano.

Davis performs each Wednesday, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the historic Westin Poinsett in downtown Greenville. More about the artist may be found at his website www.innergroovemusic.com.

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