Billie Davies is a jazz drummer, composer and bandleader best known for her Avant-garde, Free Jazz and Avant-garde Jazz compositions since the mid nineties, and her improvisational drumming techniques she has performed in Europe and in the US.
Billie Davies hails originally from Brugge, Belgium and mostly grew up on the Belgian Coast at the North Sea in Europe.
She played and performed all over Europe, in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece until immigrating to the United States at 32 gave her opportunities to play all over the United States.
On November 14, 2013 while living in Hollywood, Billie Davies received the "Jazz Artist Of The Year" Award by the 23rd Annual LAMA Music Awards. This period in L.A. notices the beginnings of wanting to move into a style known as Nu Jazz.
In March of 2014 she made a permanent move to New Orleans where she has graced the stages ever since and recorded her new album "Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon" which was released in New Orleans in October of 2015.
All of her music is improvisational... a conversation between musicians and musical instruments, a joint emotional expression inspired by a certain common feeling, thought or perspective that is being communicated to an audience, a listener, a community.
She leads The Billie Davies Trio and BILLIE & THE BAD BOYZZZZ from The Big Easy.
Drummer/composer Billie Davies’ latest stop in her musical journey is a fruitful pairing of what she brought into New Orleans with what New Orleans brought to her. S Victor Aaron, Something Else!
By 1977 Billie was working in the Private Night Club sector as a DJ in Cologne, Germany. That set the stage for a successful DJ career in Belgium a few years later, she remembers "Les Cinq Anneaux" where she packed the house every weekend by taking the crowd to a different world every night. She became one of the top DJs in demand in Private Night Clubs, Disco Clubs and Bars.
Aged 25 Davies started the transition to become a professional musician.
At a crossroads in her musical career, while living and playing and performing with Claude Mazet in the South of France (Montpellier, Toulouse, Biarritz, La Rochelle), Billie ended up receiving a grant from Max Roach to come study at Berklee College of Music, this was after he heard one of her tapes she laid down with a bass player in Montpellier, France. Billie was however having too much fun in the south of France, living the life of a gypsy jazz musician and therefore decided not to take the offer. In his words: "Hearing from your tape, you could learn more fundamental drumming techniques, but I also hear the natural drummer, so my advice is for you not to worry too much about your technical skill, you will develop your own, I can definitely hear that, but just in case that you might want to study in a good program, please accept my invitation in the form of a talent grant to come study at the Berklee College of Music, all you need to worry about is finding a place to live and some money to survive".
She played and performed all over Europe, in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece for the next 7 years. She knew her love of drumming had become her life. "A Revelation for her was meeting with legendary guitarist Ricardo Baliardo, but known by his stage name Manitas de Plata, as well as playing with bluesman Claude Mazet - both guitarists also respected the traditional rhythmic rules. Even with the Roma, she lived several years in their way of life, which satisfied her bohemian temper so that at twenty-five she refused the offer of the legendary drummer Max Roach to study at Berklee College Of Music in Boston".(Jan Hocek)
A move to the United States at 32 gave her an opportunity to play all over the west coast. In 1987 in Oregon, she met and played a few times with Leroy Vinegar, and then later in early 1988 she moved to California, San Francisco where she was mostly active in North Beach and in the Lower-Haight district, where she met and ended up playing a few times with John Handy and played frequently with infamous local jazz notables at their infamous and unforgiving jams, in her words: the best learning school she ever had.
She recorded two albums in the mid-nineties, "Cobra Basemento" and "Dreams", "the infamous boombox recordings", in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 1997 she moved to Napa, California where for a while she held a jazz jam on Sunday evenings with Drew Waters on bass and other local musicians at a local jazz bar and performed a lot of invitationals in the Bay Area with local pro jazz and blues bands.
In 2009, she moved to Hollywood, California and in 2011, she began writing for her new album "all about Love." In June 2012 she independently released "all about Love.".
In April 2013, Davies recorded "12 VOLT". It was published in September 2013 and released on October 10, 2013.
On November 14, 2013 Billie Davies received the "Jazz Artist Of The Year" Award by the 23rd Annual Los Angeles Music Awards.
March of 2014 she made a permanent move to New Orleans.
April of 2015 she recorded "Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon". An homage to Serge Vandercam (Copenhagen, Denmark, 1924 - Wavre, Belgium, March 10, 2005). A symphony inspired by paintings.
"This entirely improvised, yet painstakingly cerebral session yields some near telepathic ensemble playing, and maintains the listener's attention, not least on account of Davies' deft and sensitively imaginative percussive technique." Roger Farbey, All About Jazz.
"Davies is not countering the modern jazz movement so much but rather stripping it down to its essence. When listening to Davies play, its easier to think of her not as a drummer but a tonal painter who swipes brushstrokes with her drumsticks". S. Victor Aaron
"Davies is mostly an autodidact whose natural talent, relentless, explorative spirit and multifaceted experiences have led to an innovative approach to jazz." Hryar Attarian