JazzFest History

Kenny Davis

Awarded: 2004
Born: Chicago, Illinois

"It's a never-ending story. Music. Each day is something new. It's just for you to be ready for it."

- Kenny Davis


A drummer at age five, Kenny Davis put down the sticks at age eleven when his aunt gave him a trumpet. Recognizing his talent, he was prompted by his high school band director to apply to the U.S. Naval School of Music. Davis studied performance and arranging and was assigned to the U.S.S. Intrepid, twice touring the Mediterranean. Davis then returned to Cleveland and was invited by Mercer Ellington to join his prestigious band. Davis remains one of the city’s leading jazz artists. He was a member of the house band at Leo’s Casino and performed with many Motown greats. He also performed with Ella Fitzgerald, Al Jarreau and numerous other jazz luminaries. Davis is a professor of jazz trumpet at Oberlin, balancing his love of performing with his passion to educate and inspire future generations
of jazz musicians.

On The Road
Navy Band