Davell Crawford

Davell Crawford, known as the "Piano Prince of New Orleans," is a multi-talented musician who has left an indelible mark on the world of music. His extraordinary musical journey is deeply rooted in his native New Orleans, where he developed a profound connection to rhythm and harmony. Crawford's musical versatility knows no bounds, as he effortlessly traverses through various genres, including modern and classic jazz, rhythm and blues, funk, gospel, soul, pop, American folk, and even hints of country-western. His influences range from Fats Domino to Sarah Vaughan, Patsy Cline, and even Liberace. Like the musical legends from the Crescent City who preceded him, Crawford believes in the art of entertainment, captivating audiences with his charismatic stage presence and engaging performances.

As a child, Crawford's early exposure to both Baptist and Catholic churches piqued his interest in the pipe organ. He watched the church organist closely and, when given the opportunity, effortlessly played the organ, demonstrating a remarkable understanding of its intricate stops and pedals. His church's organ was the first he ever played, setting the stage for a lifelong journey of mastering the instrument in both church and club settings.
Crawford's journey into the world of music began at a young age. At just seven years old, he made his first public appearance, playing the piano outside New Orleans' famous Café du Monde. His youthful rendition of Ray Charles tunes marked the start of a remarkable musical career. His exceptional talent and deep connection to Ray Charles' music led him to pay tribute to the iconic artist by assembling the Davell Crawford Orchestra in 2005. The concert was hailed as "One of The Best Concerts Ever."

In his early years, Crawford became an integral part of the New Orleans gospel community. At the age of 10, he assumed the role of accompanist for the St. Peter Claver Catholic Church choir, and by the age of 11, he was directing the youth choir, serving as pianist and organist for the sanctuary and men's choruses at the St. Joseph Baptist Church. Crawford's journey in gospel music included traveling the world to conduct choral workshops and leading award-winning gospel ensembles. The Davell Crawford Singers, a group of select New Orleans gospel vocalists, remains an integral part of his musical journey, featured on his captivating CD, "My Gift To You."

Gospel music forms the heart of Crawford's artistic expression. His lineage is steeped in musical heritage as the godson of the legendary Roberta Flack and the grandson of James "Sugar Boy" Crawford, the celebrated vocalist, pianist, and composer of "Jock-A-Mo" fame. This heritage infuses Crawford's music with honesty, passion, and the rich textures of rhythm and blues. Crawford's performances are a testament to his connection to New Orleans' piano legacy. With a repertoire that includes the works of pianists like Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, James Booker, and Huey "Piano" Smith, he carries the torch of American Roots music while captivating audiences with all-night R&B concerts and lively parties.

While Crawford's exuberance for R&B and rhythm is undeniable, he reveals a softer and more introspective side when he delves into jazz. His jazz performances, often in a trio or quartet setting, highlight his tenderness and informed sensibilities as he approaches classic and modern jazz standards.
Crawford's diverse musical palette extends to the traditional jazz songbook of New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. His performances with the Davell Crawford and His Creole Jazz Men of New Orleans and appearances at venues like Preservation Hall further underscore his versatility.
On his meticulously produced album, "My Gift To You," Crawford celebrates his rich musical roots and acts as an ambassador for the diverse genres that have shaped his artistry.

Crawford's release, "Piano in the Vaults, Vol. 1," showcases his raw talent and deep connection to the soul of New Orleans music. The album draws inspiration from a lineage of legendary New Orleans piano players, including Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, and James Booker. It cements Davell Crawford's role as a tour-de-force in the New Orleans piano tradition. In December of 2017, Crawford released "Merry Christmas from Davell Crawford," a heartfelt EP featuring three Christmas classics. His 2019 release, "Dear Fats, I Love You," is a heartfelt tribute to his close friend Fats Domino, featuring solo piano renditions of songs from Domino's catalog. Davell Crawford's remarkable journey through the diverse landscape of music is a testament to his deep connection to rhythm and harmony, his musical roots, and his enduring commitment to sharing his artistic gifts with the world.

Information Provided by Artist


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