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As a performer, Davis has had a varied career. He has toured with Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, and Rosemary Clooney. As a charter member of The Chicago Jazz Orchestra (formerly Jazz Members Big Band), he has appeared with Joe Williams, Kurt Elling, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Nancy Wilson, and Jimmy Heath, among others. As well, he has performed with many other notables, including Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman Orchestra, Natalie Cole, Diane Scuure, Bill Cosby, Sammy Davis Jr, Tony Bennet, and Michael Feinstein. Art Davis appears on many recordings, including those with Frank Mantooth, Janice Borla, Jackie Allen, Rob Parton, Tommy Meullner, Kelly Brand and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra.
Art Davis has earned degrees in Music Education (BM, University of Illinois) and Musicology (MM, University of Illinois). As a graduate student, he specialized in ethnomusicology with an emphasis in African Music. For over fifteen years he has been mentored by such master drummers as Gideon Foli Alorwoyie and Abubakari Luna.