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Orbert Davis

Chicago, IL         

Emmy-Award winning trumpeter, composer and educator,Orbert Davis is co-founder, conductor and artistic director of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (CJP), a 55+ piece jazz-symphonic orchestra dedicated to bringing together audiences of diverse backgrounds through multi-genre projects. Over the past 30 years, Mr. Davis’ mission-driven career has evolved successfully from ‘making it in the music industry’ to being a true leader in Chicago’s arts and culture community.  He is widely respected in not only all things JAZZ, but also for the distinctive ability to use his musical talents to make positive impacts on society through arts education and advocacy.

In addition to his composer commissions for orchestra, chamber, and jazz ensemble groups, Orbert has many composer commissions to his credit that have spanned industries of film, theater, television, dance, commercial, and non-profit campaigns.  For example, he was a jazz consultant to Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes, for the feature film “Road to Perdition” starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman. His original score for the the Emmy-Award winning national PBS documentary “DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis” produced by WTTW, garnered him an Emmy as well. Other significant projects include “Home and Away”, a Boeing commissioned project to honor our U.S. men and women in uniform, “Havana Blue” an Afro-Cuban inspired work that premiered live wtih River North Dance Chicago, and a multi-media presentation of “The Chicago River” commissioned by Symphony Center, Chicago.   Additionally, Orbert was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary “Beauty Rises: Four Lives in the Arts”, also produced by WTTW and the Illinois Arts Council, and “Concierto for Generation I”, a work commissioned by Nissan/Infiniti, inspired by the 2007 Infiniti G35 Sedan as part of an advertising campaign. Additionally, he has received past commissions from Chicago Sinfonietta, City of Chicago’s Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Illinois Arts Council.

Orbert’s 2004 CD release entitled “Blue Notes”, was the follow-up to his critically acclaimed “Priority” CD, which garnered an LA Times 4-star review, hit Top-50 “most played on national radio” Jazz CDs in 2002 and was named Top-10 best Jazz CDs of 2002 by the Chicago Tribune. Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’ releaseds include “Collective Creativity” (2009), an amalgamation of classical music and jazz, and “Sketches of Spain (Revisited)”, a reinterpreation of the Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaboration.  

Orbert recently celebrated his 130th show as radio personality and host of “The Real Deal with Orbert Davis,” a weekly 3-hour program airing on 90.9fm WDCB (also streaming live online at wdcb.org).  It’s no wonder Downbeat Magazine dubbed him “Orbert, Inc.” in a four-page feature story, lauding a long career of note-worthy accomplishments.

Mr. Orbert Davis has a Bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from DePaul University and a Master’s degree in Jazz Pedagogy from Northwestern University. He is a former associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and artist-in-residence at Columbia College Chicago.  He lives in Chicago with his wife Lisa, their two daughters, Zoe and Sydney, and their sons, Orbert and Benjamin.

Orbert Davis discusses his approach to reinterpreting one of the most celebrated Miles Davis albums of all time and having his ‘third stream’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic as the medium to deliver it.

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“Home and Away”

Orbert Davis discusses the creation of this 3-movement suite commissioned by the Boeing Company, in partnership with the USO of Illinois, to honor our veterans and servicemen and women.

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