Steve Davis Recipient of the 2023 Hartt Alumni Award

May 23, 2023
Submitted By: Office of Marketing and Communication
Steve Davis ’89.

Hartt alumnus Steve Davis ’89 is the recipient of the 2023 Hartt Alumni Award. Since 1959, this prestigious award has recognized outstanding Hartt alumni who have made significant accomplishments in the performing arts as artists, scholars, and educators.

Davis is widely recognized as one of today’s leading voices on the trombone. Following his graduation from Hartt’s Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, Davis gained widespread recognition as the last to join the Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He has worked with a broad range of jazz luminaries starting from his first mentor Jackie McLean, to others such as Benny Golson, James Moody, Horace Silver, Hank Jones, Roy Hargrove, Willie Jones III, and more.

Davis has performed globally, including appearances at The White House Tribute to Ray Charles. His numerous recordings have earned him many rave reviews and topped radio charts.

In addition to his many accolades in the jazz world, Davis finds music very much a family affair. He has performed and recorded with both his son guitarist Tony Davis (also a Hartt alumnus!) and his wife vocalist Abena Koomson-Davis. Davis is also an active presence in the vibrant CT jazz scene and is very much close to the Hartt and UHart community. His daughter is also a recent graduate of the University. A long-time educator, he has provided guidance, mentorship, and inspiration to countless emerging musicians in his 31-year teaching career at Hartt.

Michael Menapace ’93, chair of the Hartt Alumni Committee will present Davis with this award on June 9. “The Hartt Alumni Award committee selected Steve based on the totality of his impressive career. For decades, Steve has been “the” go-to jazz trombonist on the stage, in the studio, in the U.S., and abroad” Menapace says. Davis will receive his award at the Hartt Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, June 9 at 5 p.m. in Millard Auditorium.