Nathan Davis, professor of music and director of the jazz studies program at the University of Pittsburgh, has announced that he will retire from his post at the university at the end of June. Professor Davis, now 76 years old, founded the jazz program at the university in 1969. At that time, there were only two other jazz studies programs in the nation, one at Howard University in Washington and one at Indiana University in Bloomington. This October, Professor Davis will be presented the BNY Mellon Jazz 2013 Living Legacy Award from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. He has been recommended for the title of professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh.
Professor Davis is a native of Kansas City and holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Kansas. He studied at the Sorbonne and holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He has written more than 200 compositions and is the co-author of the book African American Music: A Philosophical Look at African American Music in Society (Ginn Press, 1996).