Welcome to the Debbie Davis homepage. If you're looking for information, news and music by New Orleans songbird and premier female ukulelist, you've come to the right place! If, however, you're looking for a blues guitar player born in 1952 (whose name is Debbie DaviEs, by the way), Al Jarreau's back-up singer, a world reknowned equine trainer, Avon's top selling associate in the UK or the Playboy Playmate for June 1972, Google did you wrong. Sorry for the inconvenience.
French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest 2013 are now firmly in the history books. This years highlights were almost too numerous to mention ... so I'll only mention some of them; The New Orleans Nightingales tour de force appearance in Jackson Square and a duet singing the Louis Prima classic, I Wanna Be Like You, with Lena Prima, a fantastic solo set at the Palm Court, the biggest Paul Sanchez Rolling Road Show Jazz Fest Band to date and a night of music and camraderie at the Saint Hotel with Meschiya Lake, Sophie Lee, Lena Prima, Alexandra Scott and Jayna Morgan. However, the thing that keeps coming back to the surface is the birth of The Gloryoskis! and our performance at Chaz Fest 2013. Helen Gillet, Myshkin and I began a glorious day at the Truck Farm as the first act on the Hard Liquor Stage. We're going into the studio soon and looking forward to more gigs and a recording soon. You haven't heard the last of the Gloryoskis!, folks.
In January 2012, I had the honor and delight of joining Tony award winner and star of the Broadway revival of Evita, Michael Cerveris, for an evening of music at - wait for it - Jazz at Lincoln Center. On the bill at this most prestegious of gigs were a slew of New Orleans luminaries who I'm also lucky enough to call friends. Alex McMurray, Matt Perrine, Craig Klein, Shamarr Allen, Eric Bolivar and I brought New Orleans to New York for a one-night-only performance that combined blue grass and Broadway and featured Paul Sanchez in a star turn singing Sondheim with Michael. This, as far as I know, is the first time a ukulele has been played at Lincoln Center. If I have my way, it won' be the last.
In a surprising and incredible last minute turn of events, I found myself on the set of Season 3 of HBO's Treme in February! I spent a glorious and surprisingly relaxed day singing alongside the preternaturally talented and always delightful, Theresa Anderson! As if that weren't enough, we recorded and filmed a song penned by my long time friend and cousin (yes, I'm serious) the real Davis Rogan, backing up the one and only Soul Queen of New Orleans, Ms. Irma Thomas! Sometimes a little slice of heaven like this just falls into your lap. It's like a dream I had once, except my teeth aren't loose and I can't fly.
Springtime in New Orleans is a beautiful, magical and, if you're lucky, busy time of year. March was spent hunkered down in the studio with the prolific and inspirational Mark Bingham finishing my first solo solo record which began receiving rave reviews from the local press even before it was available for sale. I was also honored to be included on Ingrid Lucia compliation, New Orleans Female vocalists which quickly turned into The New Orleans Nightingales revue. This collective of New Orleans singers is dedicated to the notion that traditional jazz is an evolving art form and I was humbled to be included among the ranks of modern day legends like Ingid, Banu Gibson, Meschiya Lake, Linnzi Zaorski, Lena Prima and Aurora Nealand.
French Quarter Festival saw me on stage with The Pfister Sisters, Paul Sanchez and the Rolling Road show and a solo show under my own name at the brand new Monteleone Hotel stage. The rest of the festival season was a blur of shows at Snug Harbor, Three Muses, The Dew Drop Dance Hall and my own record release party at d.b.a. and Threadhead Record events. Highlights of Jazz Fest included The Pfister Sisters at Economy Hall, Paul Sanchez and the Rolling Road Show at the Gentilly Stage, Bobby Lounge in the closing slot on the Lagniappe Stage and a one night only performance of Nine Lives at the CAC.
Spring and summer in New Jersey was a green and glorious thing to behold; Warm days and cool nights, drive in movies and bagels as far as the eye can see! The change of locale meant new venues and new gig opportunites. My very first show in NJ was a solo ukulele set at the Spring Jam Festival at the now legendary Rickie Farm. I got to play with my old pals Jeff Hemmerlin and Mike Lawlor in venues all over the tri-state area just like old times. My sweet friend Michael Cerveris took a night off from his Tony nominated role as Juan Peron in the Broadway production of Evita and was kind enough to have me as his guest onstage at the illustrious Joe's Pub. Also, Matt and I finally debuted our tuba/ukulele duo at the JAMAROO music and arts Festival. It was my kind of vacation.
Back in New Orleans after a summer sabatacal in the Garden State, I hit the ground running with a slew of exciting gigs. The Paul Sanchez/Colman deKay opus, Nine Lives, was mounted for a one night only performance at Tulane's Dixon hall to a standing-room-only crowd. The rumors of a transition to Broadway persist and we're all secretly hopeful that this dream of bringing the story of New Orleans' to the world is realized. Until then, we're waiting for Guffman. I also had the honor of performing with my quartet at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art as part of their prestegious Ogden After Hours music series. In addition to featuring the talents of Alex McMurray (guitar), Josh Paxton (piano) and Matt Perrine (sousaphone) as well as an interview with documentarian, George Ingmire, the evening provided the backdrop for the New Orleans premier of Matt and my newly named tuba/ukulele duo, The Big Ballyhoo! A recording surely can't be far behind. For all the people who assured us you'd pay money to hear a tuba / ukulele duo, you're about to get your chance. You've been warned.
The fall was full of gratifying projects! The New Orleans Nightingales, a female vocalist collective, made their formal debut at the Voodoo Music Experience featuring an all-star line up of New Orleans female singers including Ingrid Lucia, The Pfister Sisters, Linnzi Zaorski, Banu Gibson, Miss Sophie Lee, Lena Prima, Alexandra Scott, Roselyn, Jayna Morgan, Kristin Diable, Sarah Quintan and special featured guest, the Soul Queen of New Orleans, Ms Irma Thomas! Paul Sanchez emerged from semi-retirement to get the Rolling Road Show back together for a one-night-only Voodoo Fest Show. The show was another step in spreading the word of Paul and Colman DeKay's (hopefully) Broadway bound musical journey, Nine Lives.
In November I learned that It's Not the Years It's the miles passed through the initial and secondary phases of Grammy consideration and made the short list of 20 albums eligible for nomination in the regional roots music category. While it did not make the final list of 5 nominees, it was a gratifying and humbling notion that my peers thought enough of my work to listen to the record more than once or twice. Often, that's more than you can hope for of anyone. I did, however, receive a blush worthy review in the December issue of Downbeat Magazine. It all evens out.
Sliding into the end of 2012 feet first, I ran a gauntlet of 28 gigs in 16 days ranging from Christmas Caroling ventures, allstar holiday reviews, jazz clubs, burlesque bars and the hallowed ground of Preservation Hall. Immediately afterward I lost my voice and spent several days in a graceful silent gratitude for what was truly a year of vision, hard work and unexpected serendipity.