Former FAU Jazz Great Copeland Davis Brings his Legendary Brand to Town for King Weekend Concert
By Staff Report
Get ready for a night of cool music as nationally renowned jazz pianist Copeland Davis brings his group to Delray Beach for his signature performance on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, beginning at 6 p.m.
The 90-minute concert, at Cason United Methodist Church, 342 N. Swinton Ave., is part of the City’s four-day 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., observance.
“Dr. King enjoyed jazz as was evidenced in his reflection on the legacy of jazz at the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival Program,” said C. Ron Allen, leader of the 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Coordinating Team. “It is therefore so fitting to have this concert on the weekend that we honor Dr. King’s work and legacy.”
One of the highlights of the show will be a presentation featuring some local youth talents.
Combining his musical skills with showmanship, Davis is sure to galvanize his audience, said Joe Ferrer, president of Sunset Entertainment Group, one of the event’s sponsors.
“Copeland is known for his elaborate keyboard work,” said Ferrer, who produced and promoted cultural events in South Florida for more than 20 years. “He is like Liberace without all the glitz.”
Davis is no stranger to Palm Beach County having honed his skills in night clubs and restaurants across South Florida.
His fascination with music began at age 9 while watching Liberace playing the piano on TV. He blocked out everything that was going on except the pianist. He remembers thinking that “if someone could only show me, I could learn to do that.”
The Orlando native played the keyboard for 13 years in church and before he turned 20, he played with soul greats such as Eddie Floyd and Bill Pinkney. He continued to fine tune his mettle as a regular at the old Abbey Road club in Lighthouse Point in the early 1970s while pursuing a degree from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
In 2014, Davis was inducted into The Las Vegas Entertainers Hall Of Fame after he was previous being named to the International Who’s Who in Music. Other honors include Las Vegas Lounge Act of the Year, the Carbonell Pop Entertainer of the Year Award and a TV Emmy award nomination for his own PBS special Copeland Davis at Crystal Tree.
Davis has been featured on The Tonight Show and Good Morning America and feted at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
“We are so happy that Mr. Davis has agreed to perform for us this year as part of our observances,” said Michael Thomas of MK Thomas Insurance, one of the event’s sponsors. “He has established a reputation for himself as one of the best symphonic jazz musicians in the business. And to have him as part of this is exactly how Dr. King would have like it to be.”
The event is sponsored in part the Quantum Foundation, the Delray Beach Police Department, CRA Media Group, MK Thomas Insurance, Commissioner Priscilla Taylor, Joe and Marjorie Ferrer, and Janet Meeks.
Tickets are $20. Proceeds will support the oratorical and Whiz Kids investment academies of KOP Mentoring Network, a grassroots mentoring organization serving youth ages 7 to 17 in south Palm Beach County.
For tickets call 561-665-0151 or Cason United Methodist Church at 561-276-5302.