Old Friends get Together for Night of Music

bk davis

Wednesday night will be more than just a gig for Rock Island native Byron Davis. He’ll be performing with guitarist Dewey Lacefield, saxophonist Frank Drew, bass player George Handy and drummer Hugh White, all together onstage at Nan’s Piano Bar in the Freight House Entertainment Complex, downtown Davenport.

“All of us at one point or another grew up playing together, and now that we’re all in our 50’s, we’re back together again,” Davis, who turned 50 about six months ago, said from his home in Sarasota, FL.

All have gone on to become professional players in various corners of the world, said Davis, who regularly plays in hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs in Florida as well as on cruise ships.

“Once I got a hold of a couple of people they all said it sounded like fun” he added.

The night will include a mix of original, new and classic blues and jazz, as well as pop standards, showtunes and even some classical music, he said.

“I’m going to have a smorgasbord of music so people can understand that Beethoven can easily be mixed with blues and Chopin can easily be mixed with jazz,” he said. “There’s a real chemistry in this whole thing.”

The son of a pastor, Davis grew up active in the music ministry of his father’s church. But distant radio waves full of blues and jazz caught his attention.

“I would stay up late on a school night listening to the radio,” he recalled. “It was hot and sultry music piped out of Chicago. I kept my ear against the radio, absorbing every unique and interesting sound I could absorb.”

Besides performing, Davis and his wife, Rasheen Davis, have a company that works on audio books. The couple has been together for four years and married for one, and they have children born in January and December of 2008. Davis has written her own book of poetry, “Dreams From My Heart.”

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