About The Artist
Cole Davis’s passion for the uplifting power of music translates into every note he plays. He and his band, the Cole Davis Quartet, communicate with their unique style of contemporary jazz—global rhythms embrace groove, melodies replace technology and what emerges is both healing and celebratory.
A native New Yorker, Cole grew up in a home filled with music—both his parents are professional musicians and composers. He learned piano around the same time he learned to speak; he studied classical voice at age 8 and within two years was a member the Metropolitan Opera Youth Choir.
The following year, he made an abrupt transition—from the Metropolitan Opera to jazz—recording on a Bobby McFerrin album, “Vocabularies.” Cole, then only 11, realized that jazz was his natural expression and his musical language. A few years later, when he picked up an upright bass he knew, instinctively, this was the instrument he was born to play. The bass was the perfect vehicle for his gifts of improvising and composing, the perfect instrument to make him, officially, a jazz musician. Today, while he remains grounded in the tradition of upright bass, he often finds himself channeling his past life as a singer. He uses his instrument to emulate the human voice, his voice, and his bass solos take on a life of their own—they began to sing.
Cole’s career progressed with the steadiness and speed of a walking bass line. In high school, Cole performed at the 56th Grammy Awards, an opportunity that landed him a full scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music. He went on to become the youngest winner of the Ron Carter Bass Competition, as well as winning several Downbeat Student Music Awards for both performance and composition. Soon after turning 21, Cole received a great tribute when he was named an NEA Future Jazz Master, an honor that brought him to the NEA Jazz Masters Ceremony in April of 2017 and a feature on the BMI Foundation website.
A busy sideman in his hometown, Cole has played at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, Smalls, the Jazz Standard to name a few. Recently, at another great city for music, Cole and his band headlined the Detroit Jazz Festival. Cole has also played all over the world, including venues in London, Vancouver, Trinidad, and Tbilisi, Georgia.
He currently endorses Yamaha basses and was named the 2018 Yamaha Young Artist in Jazz as the first upright bass player to be given the distinction.