The Kennedy Center

Daryl Davis Band


Chicago native Daryl Davis graduated from Howard University with a degree in Jazz.  Additionally, he was mentored by legendary pianists Pinetop Perkins and Johnnie Johnson who both claimed him as their godson and praised his ability to master a piano style that was popular long before he was born.  In addition to being a pianist and vocalist, Mr. Davis is an actor, author, and lecturer residing in Maryland.

Apart from The Daryl Davis Band, he has worked with Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, The Legendary Blues Band, Percy Sledge, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and many others.  Mr. Davis’ CDs American Roots and Alternate Routes, received rave reviews from leading Blues magazines, winning several WAMA (Washington Area Music Association) Awards for Best Artist in the Roots and Blues categories.  Mr. Davis tours both nationally and internationally and just released his Greatest Hits CD.

A man told Mr. Davis he’d never seen a black man play piano like Jerry Lee Lewis.  Mr. Davis explained they both learned from black Blues and Boogie Woogie pianists.  The man didn’t believe in the black origin of the music but became a regular fan of Mr. Davis.  Turns out, he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.  This experience led to Mr. Davis becoming the first black author to travel the country interviewing KKK leaders and members, all detailed in his book Klan-Destine Relationships.

As an actor, Mr. Davis has appeared in the critically acclaimed television show, The Wire, as well as in a number of stage plays and movie roles.

Watch Past Performances

Video 11/24/2011: Daryl Davis Band

Vocalist, guitarist, composer, and keyboard extraordinaire Daryl Davis brings his band to the stage for a Thanksgiving Day Swing Dance Party. A dance floor will be installed. Part of Swing, Swing, Swing.

Daryl Davis Band