Aaron Davis, composer, arranger, keyboardist

February 25, 2024

What? Premiere of Zombie Blizzard, a new song cycle with music composed by Aaron Davis and lyrics from recent poems by Margaret Atwood

Jane Mallett Theatre, in St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1B4

? Sunday March 3, 2024, 3:00 PM

Measha Brueggergosman-Lee, vocals
The Hannaford St. Silver Band (10-piece brass ensemble}, brass
Aaron Davis, piano
George Koller, bass
Mark Mariash, drums

The Hannaford St. Silver Band, one of Canada's finest brass ensembles commissioned Aaron to set Margaret Atwood's poetry to music through an Ontario Arts Council grant. Zombie Blizzard, a 35-minute song cycle is the result. Aaron and Measha chose the poems from "Dearly", a recent collection of her friend Margaret Atwood's poems. This concert will also provide a chance to hear some rarely-played brassy instrumental songs of Aaron's, some from his work with Manteca, along with some Hindemith sung by Measha and the Hannafords.

to get tickets? https://tix.to/zombie

Here is an interview Measha and I did which was in today's Ludwig Van, the classical online journal:

INTERVIEW | Soprano Measha Brueggergosman-Lee And Composer Aaron Davis Talk About Zombie Blizzard

August 26, 2021

Hi everybody! Early this year I had the good fortune to be part of a project curated by Measha Brueggergosman with the NAC Orchestra. I did some composing and arranging and a little playing for a filmed performance, featuring Measha, rapper Jay Vernon, Edwin Huizinga, Larnell Lewis, Rich Brown, conductor Alexander Shelley and the NAC orchestra. This will be streamed on CBC Gem. Hope you can tune in!

Forgotten Coast

March 10, 2020

So sorry to have to cancel the upcoming concert at Lula Lounge on March 26 with my Circle Of Friends ensemble due to the Covid 19 pandemic. We hope to be able to play for you when it is safe to congregate.

November 26, 2019

I'm excited to perform at Gallery 345 this Thursday, Nov. 28, at 8:00 PM with a Circle of Friends who are talented local musicians and singers I've been lucky enough to play with over the years in different circumstances. The repertoire for this concert will consist of settings I've done of my father Chandler Davis' poetry, songs I've co-written with Ron Sexsmith and some instrumental tunes of mine. Tickets are available through Eventbrite:

September 17, 2016

I’m excited about playing a short 45 minute solo piano set of some new-ish compositions at the Kensington Market Jazz Festival this Sunday Sept. 18 at 3:00 PM. Admission is free. I’ll be playing at Tom’s Place, a clothing store at 190 Baldwin St.. It’s a cool new festival, the brainchild of Molly Johnson. kensingtonjazzfest

July 1, 2016

The last year has been full of interesting new projects. I was asked to be a mentor to resident musicians at the Banff Centre For The Performing Arts in November 2015. It was a great pleasure meeting and working with a very diverse group of talented young writers and performers. We threw together a Leonard Cohen tribute in 4 days, with some of the more outside arrangements of Cohen’s work including 2 versions of “Hallelujah”. One was a speed metal, elbow smashing romp and the other a choral work with lots of clusters, rhythmic breathing and whispers.
     I wrote a few arrangements for the Art Of Time Ensemble: Joe Jackson’s “The Man Who Wrote Danny Boy”, sung by Bent Carver, the Pogues “Fairytale of New York” with Liam Titcomb and Jessica Mitchell singing. Also “Gavin’s Woodpile”, sung by Hawksley Workman.
    I was asked to write seven orchestral arrangements of spirituals from “Songs Of Freedom” for the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. Measha Brueggergosman and I performed with them in Moncton and St. John this March, with Antonio Delgado conducting. Other orchestral arrangements that I have written and recorded in 2016 include 2 for David Clayton Thomas’s upcoming CD, and one for Eleanor McCain’s Canadiana CD.
   It was also a great pleasure to play on the recent Rose Cousins CD earlier this year. Produced by Joe Henry, the band was stellar (as was Rose) and included my esteemed colleague David Piltch on bass and Jay Bellerose on drums. I’m looking forward to hearing this and these other projects that have not yet been released.
    I have also finished my first piano trio, a classical piece which I am in the process of recording.

February 17, 2015

2014 was an interesting year, which started with preproduction in Madrid for Measha Brueggergosman’s Christmas CD, which I arranged and played on, and ended on New Year’s Eve with my orchestral arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s River being performed by Measha and the San Francisco Symphony, under the baton of Edwin Outwater! Along the way I had the pleasure of working with Michael Philip Wowewoda, who produced Christmas, and to play on new CDs by Buffy Saint Marie and Amelia Curran. I also collaborated with Candida Girling on two interactive art and music installations: A City Slice Of Green, at the Anderson Gallery in Buffalo, and A City Slice Of Sky at loopGallery in Toronto.

I was happy to be musical director on Songs Of Freedom, an exciting musical film project with Measha Brueggergosman, which was directed by Barbara Willis Sweete for Rhombus Media. It will continue airing in half-hour installments at 10:00 PM Fridays on Vision TV until the end of February, 2015. They have a cool and informative website: http://www.songsoffreedom.ca

John Doyle was kind in the Toronto Globe and Mail:

Songs of Freedom, (Vision TV, Fridays, 10 p.m.) is glorious. The Canadian opera singer Measha Brueggergosman performs an immensely powerful selection of spirituals – “music that emerged from Africa out of the slave trade to America.” Brueggergosman is one of our great cultural assets and here, in a program made by Rhombus Media and directed by Barbara Willis Sweete, she unleashes sublime interpretations of such material as Amazing Grace, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Go Tell it on the Mountain and Go Down Moses. Part of the context is the singer’s personal journey to discover her family’s roots in Cameroon. Under the musical direction of Aaron Davis, Songs of Freedom is achingly good.


May 30, 2013
Hi everybody

I was happy to hear the pressings of a CD that I produced, which was released last week. Its called In The Nighttime, by the talented maritime singer-songwriter David Myles. I played piano and organ on it and brought in some great musical friends: David Piltch on Bass, Kevin Breit on multiple stringed instruments, and Davide Direnzo on drums and percussion. David Myles sings and playing rhythm guitar. Also joining us on background vocals are Rose Cousins, Meghan Smith and Lisa Leblanc. We recorded it here in Toronto at John Bailey's studio, the Drive Shed,  with some overdubs at Joel Plaskett's studio in Halifax. We had a lot of fun! Here's a link to David's website.

Another thing that is upcoming is a performance of The Art Of Time with Madeleine Peyroux at the Enwave Theatre on May 31 and June 1 in Toronto. I arranged one of the songs – Chega de Saudade for this show. The Art Of Time is a great group, and they allow their arrangers a lot of latitude, which I appreciate! Here's a link.