Nathan T. Davis, the founder of the doctoral program in jazz studies at the University of Pittsburgh, died on April 8 at his home in Palm Beach, Florida. He was 81 years old.
A native of Kansas City, Kansas, Professor Davis was a graduate of the University of Kansas and held a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
Professor Davis joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 1969. He taught courses in saxophone, African American music, and jazz arranging, improvisation, and history. He played a role in the founding of the William Pitt Union’s International Academy of Jazz Hall of Fame, the William Russell Robinson Recording Studio, the Sonny Rollins International Jazz Archives and the Pitt Jazz Ensemble.
Professor Davis retired in 2013.
For more on Professor Davis, see Paris Pittsburgh: A Story in Jazz — The Life of Nathan Davis by Gisela Albus (1991).