Photo by Oreo

Steph Davis

2021-2022 ACTivate Resident

Described as a “captivating storyteller,” marimbist/composer Steph Davis (they/she/he) creates interdisciplinary performances that engage with African-American culture and interconnected struggles for freedom. Their work pushes against patriarchal, white-supremacist, ruling class domination in order to capture a liberatory consciousness and self actualization.

An emerging artist, Steph has performed recitals in the U.S. and has been a featured guest artist with New Gallery Concert Series, MF Dynamics, Southern California Marimba, Modern Marimba, and 5th Wave Collective. As a composer, their music has been performed internationally. They have received commissions from Britton-René Collins, Prism Percussion, and Spectrum Ensemble, among others. As an advocate for education as a tool for liberation, Steph is a teaching artist with Castle of Our Skins and teaches percussion at Dedham School of Music.

Steph was recently awarded a residency at Boston Center for the Arts, and collaborated on Hatched: Breaking Through the Silence, an award-winning public art project. They were a semifinalist in the International Artist Competition and a finalist in the Boston Conservatory Concerto Competition. As an artist, Steph proudly endorses Marimba One instruments and mallets.

Steph received their B.M. in percussion performance at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. They are currently pursuing their M.M. in marimba performance at the Conservatory. Their primary teachers include Nancy Zeltsman and Sam Solomon.

About Steph Davis’ ACTivate Residency “Will To Adorn

Shared through the ACTivate Residency at BCA, marimbist and composer Steph Davis will be investigating the role of art in the struggle for Black liberation. Their collaborative team of musicians and dancers will create a mixture of improvised and composed music and dance inspired by old Negro melodies and several African-American expressive characteristics noted by Zora Neale Hurston: Drama, the Will to Adorn, Angularity, Originality, and Imitation. Immersed in the revolutionary spirit of Black music and dance, performers and audiences might imagine creative ways to revolutionize our society; from one of widespread oppression to one of racial, gender, and economic justice.

Learn more about the ACTivate Residency here.