Department of Music

Lecturer (Jazz Drumset)

Davis WebDan Davis (Lecturer) (B.M. East Carolina University; M.M. North Carolina Central University) has studied drumset with David Via, Keith Copeland, and Thomas Taylor. Born in Lexington, NC, Dan studied privately with Massie Johnson (NC School of the Arts). After high school, he received the A.J. Fletcher music scholarship to study percussion with Harold Jones and Mark Ford at East Carolina University. He was the 1987 MTNA-Wurlitzer competition national winner in percussion and performed Darius Milhaud’s, Concerto for Percussion in New York City.   In 1988, Dan won the ECU concerto competition and performed Paul Creston’s Concertino for Marimba with the ECU Symphony Orchestra.  At ECU, Dan worked with jazz pianist and faculty member Paul Tardif, and became increasingly interested in drummers such as Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Joey Baron, and Jack Dejohnette.

Dan moved to the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area in 1990, where he began a long association with many of the finest musicians in the southeast. He has performed/recorded with Dr. Stephen Anderson, Jim Ketch, Steve Haines, Dr. Jeff Bair, Scott Sawyer, Ed Paolantonio, John Plymale, Carroll Dashiel, Paul Jeffrey, Wes Lachot, Jack Wilkins (USF), Dick Hodgin, Will McFarlane (Muscle Shoals/Bonnie Rait), Adrian Duke, Ray Codrington, Cyril Lance (Moog Music), Dave Finucane, Dr. Juan Alamo, and many others.   Dan is an active educator and clinician. From 2002–2005, Dan was band director at the Durham School of the Arts in Durham, NC, receiving the Claus Nobel educator of distinction award in 2005.

Currently, Dan maintains a full schedule of students and performs in many different styles of music. He is an adjunct professor of jazz drumset and jazz history, and coaches combos at UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, and UNC-Pembroke. As an educator, he has performed with artists Joe Chambers, Claudio Roditi, Conrad Herwig, Eric Alexander, Ben Allison, The North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, Gary Smulyan, Lynn Seaton, and many others.

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