Clinton Davis is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator born and raised in Kentucky and currently living in San Diego, California. A pianist from childhood, Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in performance from the University of Kentucky where he studied classical masterworks of Beethoven and Bach alongside experimental modern works.
Most of his current pursuits involve sifting through American folk traditions. With the G Burns Jug Band, Clinton performs classic country, blues, and jazz tunes from the early 20th century. In 2015, celebrated roots music publication No Depression called the band “a joyous and soulful restoration of one of the lost treasures of American musical tradition.” That same year, their second album was selected as Best Local Recording at the San Diego Music Awards. In 2018, their third album was again nominated for the same award.
As a solo performer, Clinton focuses on fingerpicking and slide guitar styles as well as traditional clawhammer banjo. In 2015 he became a Deering Artist, selected by the Deering Banjo Company to model their Americana instrument. As of 2018 you can still find him in their catalog and on their website.
– Ad for Deering Banjo Company featuring Clinton –
As a composer, he has written music for theater production and on both coasts, including San Diego’s prestigious Old Globe Theatre. His music has traveled with productions touring the United States, Europe, and South America. His work with Brooklyn’s Lone Wolf tribe was praised in San Francisco’s SF Gate and SF Weekly during their 2011 tour of the West coast.
While earning his doctorate in ethnomusicology at the UC San Diego, Davis served as an associate instructor, leading a survey course in American roots music. He also worked as assistant audio engineer, producing recordings for students and faculty that have been released on Naxos, Mode, Populist, and pfMentum record labels.