Daryl Davis

Position: Guest

Chicago native Daryl Davis graduated from Howard University, with a degree in Jazz. Outside of school, he was personally trained by legendary Blues, Boogie Woogie and Rock’n’Roll 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, Daryl is also a professional actor, author, and lecturer, now residing in Maryland.Apart from leading The Daryl Davis Band, he has worked with Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, The Legendary Blues Band, Percy Sledge, Sam Moore, Nappy Brown and many others. Daryl’s CDs have received rave reviews from leading music magazines, and he has won several WAMA (Washington Area Music Association) Awards for Best Artist in the Roots and Blues categories. Daryl has tours nationwide and internationally. His Greatest Hits CD is his latest release.A man once told Daryl, he’d never seen a Black man play piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. Daryl explained, they both learned from black Blues and Boogie Woogie pianists. The man found it hard to believe in the black origin of the music but became a regular fan of Daryl’s. Turns out, he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. This experience led to Daryl becoming the first black author to travel the country interviewing KKK leaders and members. His experiences are detailed in his book, Klan-Destine Relationships and the newly released award-winning documentary Accidental Courtesy. Most recently, Davis has been establishing a relationship with the KKK in Charlottesville, VA.As an actor, Daryl has appeared on the stage, the big screen and television. He also played a role in the critically acclaimed and awarded television show The Wire. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his music and work in race relations and is often seen and heard on cable and network television and radio as a race relations expert.