Both Davises, along with Merit’s other jazz faculty members, are mainstays in the Chicago music scene, professionally touring, performing and recording either solo or with their own ensembles. They join Merit to impart a high-quality jazz education to young, enthusiastic and motivated Chicago students as well as to keep jazz alive and relevant to new audiences. Merit students are impressed with faculty members’ background and talent, particularly when they perform.
Art Davis has toured with Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney and performed with the likes of Natalie Cole, Diane Schuur, Bill Cosby, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tony Bennett, and Michael Feinstein. He is a charter member of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra (formerly Jazz Members’ Big Band).
Tim Davis, resident drummer for the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, performs with many Chicago jazz artists including Steve Million, Jim Gailloreto, Dennis Luxion, Jeremy Kahn. He can be heard on a number of CDs, most recently on the Curtis Fuller release, “Up Jumped Spring.” Slated for a spring release is a live trio recording at Chicago’s famous Green Mill with Mike Jones, who is music director for Penn & Teller in Las Vegas.
Other prominent instructors in Merit’s jazz department include pianist Steve Million; vocalist Jade Maze; saxophonist Aaron McEvers; bassist Eric Hochberg; ; Doug Bistro instructing bass and combos, Andrew Zallar instructing combos; and Fred Simon, teaching improvisation and combos.
“We are proud to add more high-level musicians on top of our already excellent, award-winning jazz staff,” said Tom Bracy, executive director at Merit.
Merit School of Music, meritmusic.org, transforms the lives of Chicago-area youth by providing the highest quality music education – with a focus on underserved communities – inspiring young people to achieve their full musical and personal potential.