Caroline Davis performs at BLU Jazz April 19
— Saxophonist and songwriter Caroline Davis is an award-winning artist who has toured the world and shared the stage with jazz legends, and her approach to music often incorporates other distinct disciplines, like psychology and investigative journalism.
Yet her music is easily accessible despite its complexity. “I believe that my music has this rare combination of old fashioned swing vibe, but also incorporates modern complexity. I think that’s a good way to involve all kinds of different listeners,” says Davis, who is currently based in New York (when she’s not touring). She’ll perform Thursday, April 19, at BLU Jazz+ in downtown Akron.
Her new album “Heart Tonic” reflects this modern complexity but also carries an intimately personal backstory. While creating the album, which was inspired by her father, who has arrhythmia, Davis researched the human heart and its rhythms and pulses, weaving an intensely personal thread throughout the compositions.
While her music is accessible for many different audiences, this academic approach is a vital part of her process.
Davis received a doctorate in Music Cognition from Northwestern University, which studies how people are influenced by music. “It’s basically how the brain and mind interpret music,” she says. “We’re given a stimulus, and how do we hear that?” Research could also include measuring someone’s heart rate and breathing while they’re listening to music.
Davis alternates her time between her jazz ensemble and Maitri, an experimental indie soul group in which she sings and plays woodwinds.
Born in Singapore, Davis had grown accustomed to an itinerant life long before becoming a touring musician, living in such places as Texas and Chicago, and now, New York.
She remembers being influenced by the saxophone from an early age. “What made me choose a horn instrument is that my dad was into these funk bands with horn sections, like Earth, Wind and Fire.”
Caroline Davis will play at BLU Jazz+, 47 E. Market St., Thursday, April 19, 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. For info, click here.
She’ll also will perform at NightTown in Cleveland (on the back patio) Thursday, April 26, at 7 p.m. For info, click here.