Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Faces of the Artists Quarter - 3

© Andrea Canter

“Kenny is the heart of the Artists Quarter. Davis is its soul.” –Don Berryman, Jazz Police

If you’ve ever been to the Artists Quarter in St. Paul during the past decade, you undoubtedly met Davis Wilson. That’s Davis, the bearded, white-haired fellow under the beret, sitting at the AQ entrance, taking your money (not much!) for the night’s gig, chatting with the customers about anything from the music of the evening to politics. On a slow night he might be reading the paper, doing the crossword, or recounting stories about the AQ (“Do you remember the night we were robbed?”). Every weekend or any night with a big crowd piled into the basement-level club to hear a big act—the Pete Whitman X-Tet, Dave King Trucking Company, New York pianist Rick Germanson, Chicago saxophonist Pat Mallinger or favorite son Bill Carrothers, Davis assumes the role of dapper host, and delivers his famous introduction, “We’re pleased and flipped” to present the much anticipated artist. And perhaps a warning: "Use your indoor voices. You want to hear these cats!"

Davis is the Man at the Door, whom we all adore.