Snake Davis is one of the music world’s best kept secrets. He is a saxophonist of almost unparalleled gifts who has played with the best in the business through a career spanning three decades.
Yet it wasn’t until he reached the age of 20 that he picked up his first saxophone. He enrolled on the diploma course in jazz and light music at Leeds College of Music funded by busking and gig money. It was here that he met and made many of his life long friends and gained the great experience of disciplined ensemble playing. The much loved “Snake Davis and his Alligator Shoes”, the nine piece soul band were formed, playing 60’s soul music with the sax taking the vocal parts.
After college, Snake spent several years travelling, playing on cruise boats briefly setting up home in Brooklyn getting tuition from hot players and visiting some of the best jazz clubs in America.
Back in England, he joined the soul revue band “Zoot and the Roots” started his long career as a session musician and first met Lisa Stansfield. The rest, as they say, is history.
To date, Snake Davis has recorded on more than 400 tracks for over 60 artists and the list keeps growing. That’s not even counting all of the live performances! These are some of his career highlights to date:-
- Sax Solo on cult television show “The Tube”
- World Tour with Lisa Stansfield
- “Tonight with Jonathon Ross”
- 1993 The start of his long association with M-People
- Plays himself as band leader in “The Paradise Club” ITV series
- Presents a Masterclass on Tyne tees, Granada and Yorkshire TV
- World “Peace” tour with The Eurythmics
- Saxophonist on Paul Hardcastle JazzMasters Series
- First Solo album commercially available released – Snakebites
- First of many tours with Japanese rock star Eikichi Yazawa
- Digital single “Human Nature” record of the week on JazzFM
- Human Nature No.1 on smooth jazz single charts with CDBaby
- World Premiere of SnakeStrings
- Appearance on BBC1 “The One Show” with Chris Evans, Alex Jones and Gary Barlow – feature on The Solo’s The Star for his sax on “A Million Love Songs”
- Two of his students were BBC Young Musician of the Year finalists in 2014 and Jess Gillam was runner up in 2016
- Klingande and Faul & Ad Wad used his sax riffs on three European chart hits, reaching number 1 in the dance charts in the summer of 2014.
- Snake will be performing as part of the City of Culture in Hull in 2017
Snake plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone Saxes, Shakuhachi, Flutes, Whistles and Vocals. He also composes and works as an educator, examiner and music director.
Classic Sax Solos Tour and more.....
The hugely popular Classic Sax Solos tour is now in it's third year and see’s Snake Davis step into a 5 piece band (keys, drums, bass, guitar and vocals. We've taken on board suggestions from audiences's of additional tunes they'd like to hear and added more to the set list. If you've already seen the show, you'll see some of the favourites along with new songs.
So many people love the sound of a great saxophone solo and for good reason. In the right hands sax is so emotional, so passionate; it sings, screams, whispers.
An instrumental solo can break hearts, lift spirits, even change lives.
Snake performs a myriad of classics, including Baker Street, Careless Whisper, Still Crazy after all these Years, Respect, Yakety Yak, and his own solos from Million Love Songs, Moving on Up, Search for the Hero, and Lisa Stansfields "Change". What’s more, he also tells you a bit more about them, fascinating facts and insights into the music we already love.
Imagine a room full of the saxophone greats; Junior Walker, King Curtis, Clarence Clemmons, Charlie Parker, Michael Brecker and more. Snake can deliver them all; challenging – yes, but he completely nails it. Sultry sax, searing sax, screaming sax, sexy sax, soulful sax, this show has it all.
Snake Davis on Saxes & Vocals, Gareth Moulton on Guitar & Vocals, Paul Birchall on Keys, Bryan Hargreaves on Drums & Simon Goulding on Bass
The Snake Davis Band
Snake is joined on stage by his band; Paul Birchall, keys, composer and lifelong friend, Simon Goulding, bass player extraordinaire with an impressive biography as long as your arm and Ali Thynne on drums, the most talented drummer to come out of Leeds College of Music to date (in our opinion) and the new kid on the block.
All are consummate musicians and clearly enjoy performing together. There is a great on stage rapport. This music doesn’t fit into any bracket. In truth, it’s real soul music. As Snake said “I believe that any music that moves you is soul music” You can expect to hear an exciting combination of old favourites as well as new material. This is not highbrow; it’s genuine, emotional, soulful, feel good music.
The Burden of Paradise
Breathtaking skill, warm co-operation and witty anarchic banter. Burden Of Paradise invites its audience into a world of tenderness, virtuosity and human frailty. No drums. Just voice, saxophone and double bass.
BoP’s unique interpretations of evocative songs from Dylan to Dowland are spell-binding.
Helen Watson sings like an angel, and Snake Davis's saxophone has played a key role for a huge number of bands from M People to Eurythmics. See www.burdenofparadise.co.uk
Finding a string quartet with the right sound and attitude for his ideas was hard, but finally Snake discovered 4 perfect players whose credentials included the Mercury nominated album “The Sea” by Corinne Bailey Rae and performances with some of the worlds finest conductors and soloists, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, The Halle, Opera North, Sting, Martin Taylor, The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, The Pet Shop Boys and more.
SnakeStrings perform a mix of funky, classical, soulful and world music, all with a Snakey twist. Expect tunes ranging from “River Deep, Mountain High” and “A Little Respect” to self penned numbers such as “Sugar Loaf Mountain” and “Shiro Sunset” to classics from Albinoni, Faure and Bach.
Snake Davis & The Suspicions
A soulful unit playing sax versions of Stax, Motown and Atlantic classics, they went on to be embraced by the Northern Soul scene. They lit up the Astoria Ballroom and Central Station, Leeds as they played to some of the most passionate and committed music-loving crowds anywhere in the world.
As a backing band they’ve worked alongside Ben-E-King, Frank Wilson, Chuck Jackson, Brenda Holloway, Martha Reeves, Willie Hutch, JJ Barnes, Eddie Holman, Barbara Lynn and many more including countless appearances at Fleetwood in the days of the Togetherness Weekenders and the Prestatyn Soul Weekends.
Often heralded as the best Soul band performing live in the UK today, they feature Snakes’ searing Junior Walker-inspired sax, the sumptuous vocals of Doreen Edwards and Sue Quinn, trumpet and a killer rhythm section. The line up includes some of the UKs finest musicians; current and former members of the Eurythmics, M-People, Tanita Tikaram, Simply Red and Swing Out Sister to name a few. Snake Davis and the Suspicions will be performing classic tracks from Atlanta, Motown and Northern Soul, including their own versions of tunes such as “The Champion”, “Sweetest Feeling”, Green Onions”, “Love is Serious Business” and “Do I Love You” all great to listen to, even better to dance to.