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Newsmaker: Nathan T. Davis

| Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Nathan Davis, 76, of Bradford Woods was awarded the the BNY Mellon Jazz 2013 Living Legacy Award on Saturday at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.
Nathan Davis, 76, of Bradford Woods was awarded the the BNY Mellon Jazz 2013 Living Legacy Award on Saturday at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

Noteworthy: Davis received the BNY Mellon Jazz 2013 Living Legacy Award on Saturday at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. A Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation program, the award honors living jazz masters from the mid-Atlantic region.

Age: 76

Residence: Bradford Woods

Family: Wife, Ursula; their adult children, Joyce Poulin, who lives in Berlin, and Pierre Davis, who lives in New York City

Occupation: Davis retired in June after 43 years as a University of Pittsburgh music professor and director of jazz studies. He founded Pitt's annual jazz seminar and concert, the first of its kind in the country.

Education: Davis has a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Kansas. He studied ethnomusicology at the Sorbonne and has a doctorate in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn.

Background: Before arriving at Pitt in 1969, Davis lived in Europe and played with jazz greats including Kenny Clarke. He has written more than 200 original compositions, including film scores, four symphonies and a jazz opera. He has published four books and recorded more than 20 albums. Clarke encouraged him to establish a program to give students a true picture of jazz and jazz musicians.

Quote: “They always felt that they were not given their due credit. A lot of times, jazz was distorted in the history books.”

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or bbowling@tribweb.com.

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