The Wright Museum

Earle Davis Concert (Two Sessions)
Saturday, September 1, 2018 at 6 PM and 6:45 PM

This event is free and open to the public. There will be two sessions, and each session will run for 45 minutes. For more information call (313) 494-5800.



Earle Davis, Jazz Trumpeter


Musically gifted early on, Earle Davis, began his professional career as a trumpeter at 18 when he began playing in the U.S. Navy Band, having enlisted in the military services just days after graduating from high school.

A native of Houston, Texas, Davis studied music and visual art at Chenard Art Institute in Los Angeles in the early 1960s. While still in school, a young Davis found his way into the L.A. jazz scene and had the good fortune to play with such greats as Harold Land, Bobby Hutcherson, Dexter Gordon, Gerald Wilson, and Billy Higgins. In 1965, he made his way to the Bay Area where he would work with Skippy Warren and Riche Goldberg, to name a few.

In 1968, Davis was invited to play with John Coltrane at the Jazz Workshop. He then moved from the West Coast to New York City, where he flexed his talent as a bandleader, sideman and visual artist. As a trumpeter, he worked with such renowned jazz artists as Joe Henderson and the Kenny Dorham Big Band before joining the Sun-Ra Orchestra as an on-off member until Sun-Ra’s death in 1993. As the Avant-Garde music scene (new music movement) took hold, Davis would find his place alongside such jazz royalty as Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Oliver Lake, Roland Alexander, Sam Rivers, Roland Kirk, Jackie Byard’s Apollo Stompers Big Band and Roswell Rudd.

One of Davis’ most unforgettable stage moments occurred in 1971, when he was invited by legendary Miles Davis to join him for a one-night guest appearance at The Both And Jazz Club in San Francisco. At the time, Miles band included Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Buster Williams, and Wayne Shorter.

As a close friend and understudy to jazz giant Thelonious Monk, Davis heeded Monk’s advice and settled into a musician’s life in NYC where he began to write his own music. Davis would later become a respected composer and a permanent fixture in the New York City Jazz scene and the underground art movement.

Having moved to Detroit in 2014, and at 80 years of age, Davis is still finding new ways to express his musical gifts. He recently took advice given to him by Miles Davis many years ago, and started his own band. Earle Davis and The Magic Spirit Band have performed at venues throughout Detroit.