Steve Davis (American drummer)

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Steve Davis, Drummer

Jazz drummer Steve Davis was born in Santa Barbara, California in 1958. With Shelly Manne as his godfather, he became interested in the drums at a young age.

Following the advice of drumset teacher Alan Dawson, Steve moved to New York City in the early 1980s to begin his career as a jazz drummer. Soon after he met the jazz educator Jamey Aebersold, and in 1982 joined the Aebersold clinic faculty, of which he has been a member ever since. Throughout the 1980s Steve built up a reputation in the New York scene, playing and recording with many big names. During this period he also studied privately with Joe Morello.

Steve is now most widely known as a member of the Lynne Arriale trio. Pianist Arriale met Steve at a jam session soon after she herself moved to New York in 1991. There was an immediate musical rapport and they decided to work together. Steve has since appeared on 10 recordings with Arriale, and has toured worldwide with the trio for the last 15 years.


Every year Steve teaches as a faculty member of the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Summer Schools in the US and the Jazzwise Summer Schools in the UK. His teaching method is one that encourages the creativity of the pupil in developing his or her own methods of practice, rather than relying on books. He lists Ted Reed's Syncopation and G.L. Stone's Stick Control as the only books any drummer should need. He places a strong emphasis on knowing the melody and form for as many tunes as possible, and tries to approach any exercise from a musical standpoint. He has played on more Jamey Aebersold play-along records than any other drummer, and has written many transcription books of his playing on these records, 4 of which are readily available and are published by Jamey Aebersold.

Since first moving to New York in the early 80's, Steve has moved around a lot and has at one time in his life, served on the faculty of the following institutions, either as a full-time faculty member, or as a visiting artist in residence:

Recording Engineer[edit]

Steve is also an accomplished recording engineer. In the mid 1990s he set up the Steve Davis Studio in his home in New York, where he has engineered hundreds of recording sessions, including many of the trio's, which he also played on.

Steve now lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Steve endorses Precision Drums and Bosphorus Cymbals.


As a leader:

  • Steve Davis - Songs We Know
  • Steve Davis Trio/Richie Beirach/Francois Moutin - Explorations and Impressions (Double-Time Records)
  • Steve Davis Project - The Quality of Silence
  • Steve Davis/Jeanfrancois Prins - Light

With Lynne Arriale Trio:

  • Lynne Arriale Trio - On Inspiration
  • Lynne Arriale Trio - Live at Montreux
  • Lynne Arriale Trio - Melody
  • Lynne Arriale Trio - A Long Road Home
  • Lynne Arriale Trio - With Words Unspoken
  • Lynne Arriale Trio - When You Listen
  • Lynne Arriale Trio - The Eyes Have It
  • Lynne Arriale Trio - Arise
  • Lynne Arriale Trio - Come Together
  • Lynne Arriale Trio - Lynne Arriale Trio Live (CD/DVD Box Set)


  • Bill Evans/Andy LaVerne/John Patitucci/Steve Davis - Modern Days and Nights: The Music of Cole Porter
  • Andy LaVerne/Walt Weiskopf/Conrad Herwig/Tim Hagans/Jay Anderson/Steve Davis - The Cutting Edge
  • Joe Beck/Ali Ryerson - Alto
  • Bob Mintzer - Music for the King of Thailand
  • Walt Weiskopf - Night Lights
  • Jamey Aebersold Play-Alongs - 43,45,47,48,50,54,55,59,65,66,70,72,73,75,78,84,85,87,89,92,21
  • Lynne Arriale Trio - Lynne Arriale Trio Live (CD/DVD Box Set)

External links[edit]