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Bobby Davis Photograph Collection

1980-1983
1 box (0.2 linear ft.)
Call no.: PH 065

A native of Providence, R.I., Bobby Davis arrived in Amherst in 1977 and soon afterward entered the University Without Walls program at UMass to earn his college degree. A talented jazz musician, Davis became immersed in the vibrant local arts scene, learning photography while writing for the student publications Nummo News and the Collegian, and covering performances by a steady stream of jazz and R&B acts touring through the area. Working later as a photographer for Smith College and traveling for the yearbook company, Delmar Studios, Davis eventually settled in Northampton, where he remains active as a photographer.

The Davis collection contains twelve exhibition prints of jazz musicians performing in Amherst, including Art Blakey, Angela Bofill, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Yusef Lateef, Oscar Peterson, Max Roach, Gil Scott-Heron, and Archie Shepp.

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Background on Bobby Davis


An image of: John W. Lederle

John W. Lederle

A native of Providence, R.I., Bobby Davis spent several years as a young man playing his Fender Rhodes electric piano with a variety of jazz and R&B groups. Exhausted by the touring, Davis had a chance encounter with jazz great McCoy Tyner who reinforced his father's advice: "Son, don't forget to give college a chance."

After following a friend to Amherst in 1977, Davis entered the University Without Walls program at UMass to earn his college degree and soon became immersed in the vibrant local arts scene. Joining the staff of the student publication Nummo News, Davis' first assignment was to cover a concert by the guitarist Michael Gregory, and when he discovered that there were no photographers present, he grabbed a camera and shot the session himself. Through his work with Nummo News and the Daily Collegian, Davis learned his way around a darkroom and took opportunities to film other concerts, with his photographs appearing not only in student publications, but in the Amherst Record.

Davis parlayed his success in photography into jobs for the Smith College and for the yearbook company, Delmar Studios. Davis eventually settled in Northampton, where he remains active as a photographer.

Scope of collection

The Davis collection contains ten exhibition prints of jazz musicians performing in Amherst, including Art Blakey, Angela Bofill, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Yusef Lateef, Oscar Peterson, Max Roach, Gil Scott-Heron, and Archie Shepp.

Inventory

Art Blakey at drum set
ca.1980
36 x 28 cm.
No. 1
Angela Bofill, arms raised on the stage
1982
28 x 36 cm.
No. 2
Ray Charles, leaning back, smiling
ca.1980
28 x 36 cm.
No. 3
Miles Davis, playing trumpet on stage
1981
28 x 36 cm.
No. 4
Miles Davis, playing trumpet on stage
1981
36 x 28 cm.
No. 5
Dizzy Gillespie playing trumpet on stage
ca.1980
28 x 36 cm.
No. 6
Close-up portrait of Yusef Lateef
ca.1980
28 x 36 cm.
No. 7
Oscar Peterson in heavy coat, playing piano
ca.1980
36 x 28 cm.
No. 8
Max Roach playing drums
ca.1980
28 x 36cm.
No. 9
Gil Scott-Heron on stage, in front of a microphone
ca.1980
36 x 28 cm.
No. 10
Gil Scott-Heron on stage, in front of a microphone
ca.1980
36 x 28 cm.
No. 11
Archie Shepp playing the saxophone
1983
28 x 36 cm.
No. 12

Administrative information

Access

Copyright has been retained by Bobby Davis. All requests for reproduction or publication.

Provenance

Acquired from Bobby Davis, 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Mar. 2015.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Bobby Davis Photograph Collection (PH 065). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Blakey, Art, 1919-1990
  • Bofill, Angela, 1944-
  • Charles, Ray, 1930-2004
  • Davis, Miles
  • Gillespie, Dizzy, 1917-1993
  • Jazz musicians--Photographs
  • Lateef, Yusef
  • Peterson, Oscar, 1925-2007
  • Roach, Max, 1924-2007
  • Scott-Heron, Gil, 1949-2011
  • Shepp, Archie

Contributors

  • Davis, Bobby [main entry]

Genres and formats

  • Gelatin silver prints
  • Photographs

Link to similar SCUA collections