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Rooster Davis, blues piano

01 Aug Posted by in Schedule | Comments
Rooster Davis, blues piano

Ever since Canadian blues icon, Holger Peterson, gave Rooster Davis a CD called Fess’ Gumbo, a recording done in Canada with Professor Longhair’s piano tracks soloed up, his playing has never been the same. This unique recording allowed Rooster to delve into the style of this revolutionary piano player from New Orleans, and he found himself transcribing passage after passage, painstakingly lifting every note and nuance.

Rooster’s love of Professor Longhair, otherwise known as Henry Roland Byrd, and his playing has inspired him to start preparing to record a tribute album to the great man.

For this solo set, he will be playing many of the songs of Fess, as well as some other piano players from New Orleans, whose arrangements have been greatly influenced by him. Like all blues piano players, you can hear the influence from many great players who came before, making up the gumbo of each musicians own unique style, but it would be fair to say that the heaviest spice in Rooster’s gumbo comes from New Orleans, and specifically, from Professor Longhair.

Edmonton based pianist and organist, Rooster Davis, specializes in the New Orleans traditions of seminal players such as Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, and James Booker. His own style is a combination of everything he has learned from these great players, giving him a driving, rhythmic style of playing the blues, and a heavy NOLA second line funk feel.

Rooster Davis has toured around the world and has a strong following in Western Europe and Australia. He has appeared at many festivals nationally and internationally including; Edmonton International Jazz Festival, Calgary International Blues Festival, Kitchener Blues and Roots Festival, Toronto Blues Summit, Memphis International Blues Challenge, Vienna Blues Festival, Sydney Blues and Roots Festival, and Australian Blues and Roots Festival.

Rooster’s latest recording, For Saints and Sinners, won best blues recording from the Edmonton Blues Society, and was nominated for best blues and roots recording at the Edmonton Music Awards in 2016. The Rooster Davis Group went on to claim Best Band in the Memphis Blues Challenge for Northern Alberta and attended the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, a competition that features over 200 bands from around the world, and became the first Edmonton band to make it to the semi-finals.

In addition to leading and fronting the Rooster Davis Group, Rooster Davis is a renowned freelance keyboard player. He has recorded with producers such as 10 time Grammy Award winner Joe Chiccarelli, John Whynot, and Hawksley Workman. He is the musical director of Canadian gold platinum selling country artist Adam Gregory, and Rooster also regularly performs with award-winning roots artists such as Ridley Bent, The Dungarees, Jay Sparrow, Jay Gilday, and many more.

In the short 5 years since the Rooster Davis Group’s first performance the band has shared the stage with 2016 Grammy Award winner Jon Cleary, acclaimed NOLA artist Aurora Nealand, Joe Galindo (musical director of Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding), Brad Shigeta (a 17 year member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra), and many others besides.

This concert is a proud community co-presentation with the Calgary International Blues Festival.