Davis has a keen sense of the importance of music in all aspects of her cultural history

and celebrates this in her singing and acting. She played Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith in the Kuumba Theater’s production of In the Heart of the Blues, and has also appeared in Second Chance Gospel Opera and Colored Museum.


Born in Chicago in 1953 and raised in Cabrini-Green, Davis was exposed to blues, jazz, swing, and R&B by her family’s love of music. A grandfather had performed with Louis Armstrong and Count Basie. She first sang gospel in her church choir as a teenager and took formal training at the Sherwood Conservatory of Music and Kennedy King College. She has recorded Dream Shoes (Southport Records, 2000), and Rock This House—Live! (The Sirens, 2006), plus was anthologized on Folk Songs of Illinois, Vol. 3 (Bucky Halker, 2008).


Katherine Davis has performed at the Chicago Blues Festival annually for more than twenty years. As a singer and songwriter she has become perhaps as well-known abroad as she is back home from her frequent, eagerly anticipated tours and festival appearances around the world.

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