Kevin Davis is an improviser, composer, and cellist. Originally from Appalachian Tennessee, he has at various times been based out of Memphis, Chicago, New York, and Istanbul, where he has played in and composed for a large variety of musical situations across a wide spectrum of contemporary music. He has recorded and performed in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He has degrees in music composition from the University of Memphis (B. Music) and the Centre for Advanced Musical Studies (MIAM) in Istanbul, Turkey (MA), and in Composition and Computer Technologies from the University of Virginia (MA, PhD).
Kevin has performed, recorded, and improvised with many excellent musicians including Christian Wolff, Pauline Oliveros, Ken Vandermark, Dave Rempis, Jeb Bishop, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Tim Daisy, Ingebrigt H. Flaaten, Jim Baker, Robert Reigle, Tatsuya Nakatani, Guillermo Gregorio, Ben Vida (US Maple), Adam Vida, Josh Abrams (Town and Country), David Daniell, Glen Kochie (Wilco), Colin Stetson, Kyle Bruckmann, Olivia Block, Uncle Woody Sullender and Mike Pride among many others.
His own collaborative projects include recordings with Dave Rempis, Woody Sullender, and Mike Pride, Jim Baker, Locksmith Isidore, the İstanbul-based Islak Köpek and Hoca Nasreddin, in addition to co-directing the MIAM Improvisation Ensemble and performing in and assistant directing the University of Virginia New Music Ensemble, and directing the Sonic Crafts Orchestra. In addition to playing in a number of bands and projects (Floom, Sweet Tooth, Restroy, Never Enough Hope), he also currently plays in the new music group Null Set and plays violone, baroque cello, and harpsichord in the University of Virginia Baroque Orchestra.
After many years of focusing his artistic practice on improvisation, Kevin has recently become re-engaged with more traditional forms of composition. His recent creative work deals with mediating the sometimes-problematic relationship between composition and improvisation by bringing formal structures into a confrontation with the unstable properties present in movement, gesture, and sound. His compositions have been performed by Dither guitar quartet, Ekemeles, the Verge Ensemble, Never Enough Hope, the Hezarfin Ensemble, Chicago Sound Map, and others.