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's performances were included as part of the City of Culture celebration in Hull in 2017
- In March 2020 the Covid-19 lockdown saw the start of Snake as an internet livestream artist with 3 shows and a sax workshop each week throughout the period.
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.
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.