Billie Davies is a jazz drummer and composer best known for her Avant-garde, Free Jazz, Avant-jazz and Nu 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.
She played and performed all over Europe until immigrating to the United States at 32, where she has been active as a jazz musician ever since.
On November 14, 2013 while living in Hollywood, Billie Davies received the "Jazz Artist Of The Year" Award by the 23rd Annual Los Angeles Music Awards. That year in L.A. notices the beginnings of her inclinations towards a style that can be best explained today as Nu jazz. (On the recordings of "12 VOLT" she played on her combined set of electric and accoustic drums and later she released two improvisations, "SUNRAAAH" & "Melancholia Abstractissimus".).
In March of 2014 she moved to New Orleans where she has graced the stages ever since and recorded her latest album "Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon" which was released in New Orleans in October of 2015 and deviated from her previous release by it being again (just as "all about Love.") an all accoustic recording with horns.
She received international attention due to a player feature, "BILLIE DAVIES '20 Years Stronger', published in Downbeat Magazine May'16 edition.
Articles have been written on her music from Prague to Belgium to London to New York to San Jose.
All of her music is improvisational... a conversation between musicians and musical instruments, a joint emotional expression that is being communicated to an audience, a listener, a community.
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.
"With a background in Classical and Jazz and a lifetime of musical experiences in jams, performances, recordings and music production, the listener is treated to jazz inclinations within her ensembles that bristle with cutting-edge freshness". (C.J. Bond)