Chicago native Daryl Davis graduated from Howard University, with a degree in Jazz. Additionally, he was mentored by legendary 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 an actor, author, and lecturer, now residing in Maryland. Apart from The Daryl Davis Band, he has worked with Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, The Legendary Blues Band, Percy Sledge, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and many others. Daryl’s CDs American Roots and Alternate Routes, received rave reviews from leading Blues magazines, winning several WAMA (Washington Area Music Association) Awards for Best Artist in the Roots and Blues categories. Daryl tours both nationally and internationally and recently released his Greatest Hits CD.
A man 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 didn’t 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, all detailed in his book, KLAN-DESTINE RELATIONSHIPS. Today, Daryl owns numerous Klan robes and hoods, given to him by active members who became his friend and renounced the organization.
Daryl is the subject of the new documentary, ACCIDENTAL COURTESY - Race In America, which recently aired nationwide on PBS. Davis is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many other media outlets as a race relations expert. For his work in race relations, Daryl has received the Washington Ethical Society Bridge Builder Award, Common Ground Award, MLK Award, American Ethical Union Elliott-Black Award, among many others. As an actor, Daryl has appeared in film, stage plays and the critically acclaimed television show The Wire.
“While you are actively learning about others, you are passively teaching them about yourself. Always be honest.” -- Daryl Davis
“When two enemies are talking, they are not fighting. They may be shouting and pounding their fists on the table, but at least they are talking. It’s when the talking ceases, that the ground becomes fertile for violence. Keep the conversation going.” -- Daryl Davis
Website – www.DarylDavis.com