Art Davis is a composer, improviser, fingerstyle guitarist, pianist, and watercolorist living in the Texas Hill Country just outside of Austin.
His music reflects a wide range of musical experiences, from solo guitar and piano to folk to orchestral minimalism to ambient electronica to jazz. Art’s musical direction in the last few years has been to simplify and to create “quiet music for loud times”. He likes for his music to unfold at a pace that allows the listener time to relax, daydream, and mindfully experience their emotional reaction to the music.
Art holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition from North Texas State University focusing on Analog Electronic Music and Intermedia studying with Larry Austin. He continued his studies in the graduate program as a teaching assistant to Phil Winsor and taught the Graduate Seminar in Computer Music.
Art comes from a long lineage of musicians and composers. His grandfather was a conductor and composer of concert band and orchestral music. He began playing trumpet professionally at the age of 16 in his father’s Jazz Big Band, The Art Davis Orchestra. Boyhood memories of seeing his father at his small desk with drying parts scattered on the floor, pen in hand fueled his interest in music and composition.
Art has an extensive history of affiliations with performance, theatrical, and dance organizations dating back to the mid-1970s.
Having composed many compositions for the concert stage, dance and theatre, writing six plays incorporating his music in creative ways blending music, spoken word, dance, pantomime, and projected images, Art’s works have been produced by The Austin Philharmonic Orchestra, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The University of Texas Percussion Ensemble, The Hip Pocket Theatre, Stage West, The Bricolage Ensemble, Tongue and Groove Theatre, The Selwyn School, The Fort Worth Dance Alliance, The Side Street Circus, and The Token Mime Theatre.
Art is a self-taught watercolorist. He was introduced to painting by his grandmother. She informally taught him the basics while they painted together. He ended up being totally engrossed in music and it wasn’t until decades later that he picked up the brush in earnest and began to study the craft.