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Kate Davis

Kate Davis

Kate Davis began her music career as a jazz prodigy who showcased her warm, textured voice and main instrument, the double bass, on recordings of standards as well as on stages including the Kennedy Center as a teen. She began writing her own music as a young adult, later co-penning Sharon Van Etten 's adult-alternative hit "Seventeen" (2019). Davis presented her own graceful, adventurous indie rock with 2019's Trophy, her debut as a singer/songwriter.

Born in West Linn, Oregon, in 1991, Kathryn Davis began studying the violin at the age of five. By middle school, she had developed an interest in jazz, and she took up the double bass at 13. She played both violin and bass for the Portland Youth Philharmonic. By high school, Davis was giving concerts where she played bass and sang, also earning a spot in the Grammy Jazz Ensemble as bassist. Among her other accolades as a teen were an NFAA youngARTS Silver Award, multiple Downbeat Magazine Student Awards, and an invitation to participate in the Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony. She self-released the jazz album Introducing Kate Davis in 2008, following it with A Kate Davis Holiday in 2009. That year, she was named a Presidential Scholar of the Arts, leading to a performance at Kennedy Center, and relocated to New York to attend the Manhattan School of Music on scholarship. As a young adult, when she wasn't practicing, she was listening to artists such as Elliott Smith , Beach House , and Death Cab for Cutie while working on her own indie songs.

Davis started playing a mix of jazz covers and her own material at venues around the New York City in 2012, expanding her resumé to include places like the Bowery Ballroom as well as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Over the next several years, she joined the likes of Herbie Hancock , Alison Krauss , and Ben Folds on-stage and contributed bass and/or vocals to recordings by Joshua Bell , Son Lux , and Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox while continuing to work on her own songs. A song she co-wrote with Sharon Van Etten , Van Etten 's "Seventeen," reached the Top Ten of Billboard's Triple A Songs chart in early 2019. After signing with Solitaire Recordings , Davis issued her singer/songwriter debut, Trophy, in November of that year.

Her second album for Solitaire , Strange Boy, was a tribute to Daniel Johnston . Released in early 2021, it covered his 1984 album, Retired Boxer, alternating songs with short interview clips of friends reminiscing about the songwriter. ~ Marcy Donelson, Rovi

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