U-W Madison Professor Richard Davis was honored Monday night at the Lincoln Center in New York City with a 2014 Jazz Masters recognition by the National Endowment for the Arts, considered the highest honor for a living jazz musician. We couldn't be more proud.
Professor Davis is one of the greatest bass players who have ever lived. That he has chosen to live and work in Madison for almost 37 years now is rather remarkable. But beyond the luster he has brought to the U-W School of Music, he has also dedicated his life – more than most people know – to supporting young bassists, championing diversity on campus and leading community conversations on racial healing including seminars in his home. In other words his contributions to making Madison a better place to live, a more just and fair and equitable place to live, are likely incalculable.
We certainly join in celebrating Richard Davis's brilliant career as a musician. Knowing Richard Davis the person only makes the celebration that much sweeter.