JazzFest History

Duane Davis

Awarded: 2020
Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“The arts should raise and elevate and cleanse and stir us. I still let the arts stir me.”

- StoryCorps Archives

Duane Davis is well known in vocal jazz, musical theater and opera communities as a master educator, director, conductor and more. The family moved to Cleveland when Davis was a toddler, where his earliest recollections were of music in the home. Although they could not afford instruments, the children were exposed to multiple musical genres.

Davis honed his appreciation for all styles, singing in school choirs and as a high school student also sang with the Cleveland Orchestra. Inspired by a highly motivating music teacher, Davis pursued a career in music education and has been teaching for more than 50 years.

As an educator, he has traveled the world and returned to his home town in 2020 when he served as an adjudicator during Tri-C Vocal Jazz Day.

Duane Davis - Making a Difference
Duane Davis - A Family Tradition