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Kevin G. Davy (born 29 October 1961, Nottingham, UK) is a British jazz trumpeter/flugelhorn player, composer, arranger and bandleader. He has recorded with and toured with artists such as Finley Quaye, Lamb, Adam F and Lemn Sissay’s Secret Society; and subsequently becoming bandleader of his own groups, the Kevin Davy Quartet (KD Q), D’Semble, and more recently with Kevin Davy’s Monster Jam (Rich Mix, London). In 1992 Davy was awarded the Manchester Jazz Musician of the Year Award by BBC Radio Manchester show The People.
Early life and education
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Davy began playing trumpet at the age of fourteen, progressing to the trumpet in the 2nd Nottingham Boys Brigade Band (which later transitioned into the British Champion Drum Corps, the red Devils, directed by J.W.Garton).
In the 1980s he played in brass bands such as Carlton Silver in Nottingham and various jazz/swing big bands within the region. During his formative years Davy studied under and was mentored by Gerald Douglas and Sarah Theobald. As a chorister he sang bass in church as well as in the Clarendon College choir.
Relocating to Manchester in 1986, Davy studied at the Manchester Metropolitan University, attaining a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) and a Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A) in General Arts (Humanities) in 1990. While enrolled there he attended the weekly jazz improvisation workshops organised by Colin Stansfield in the nearby All Saints College.
Davy remained in Manchester until 1994, playing at venues such as Band on the Wall and PJ Bells, where he was booked for residencies. He also led open jam sessions for musicians and vocalists of varying skills to participate. These sessions ran for nine years.
In 1994, he moved to London, where he took up the post of trumpet chair and actor At the Donmar Warehouse on their production of The Threepenny Opera directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Collaborations with writer SuAndi followed, leading to Davy's participation in community-driven projects and a long-standing international tour with the show Afrika Afrika (Oct 2008 – March 2009), conceived by André Heller and choreographed by Georges Mamboye.
Davy has continued to develop his own writing and producing, via his group the Kevin Davy Quartet (KDQ). This unison resulted in the album The Throth Project, which has been performed at several venues in the UK, including in the Attic at the Hackney Picturehouse.
Davy has collaborated with jazz musicians from several countries, including Sangoma Everett (US, now based in France), Pibo Marquez(Venezuela), Paul Shigihara (Japanese-German), Doudou Gouirand (France), Roman Rahut (Poland), Krzesimir Debski (Poland), and Claude Deppa (South Africa). He has also worked with Crass Agenda.
Following his work with the Throth Project, Davy resumed playing gigs in Wales and England, performing with Finley Quaye at The Jazz Café, London.
He has also periodically held "Kevin Davy's Monster Jam", a four-hour jam session combining musicians and vocalists from around the U.K. at Rich Mix in London. During the season of 1995–96 he met Andy Barlow and Lou Rhodes of Lamb, when both attended "Kevin Davy’s Monster Jam" at Band on the Wall in Manchester, leading to touring and recording sessions; playing on Lamb's first two albums. Davy began playing the emerging drum and bass and trip hop genres. He remained of a part of Lamb's setup from 1996 to 2000, during which time he worked with producers Adam F and Sugizo.