The Chicago trumpeter Art Davis, like the prolific bassist of the same name, is referred to as a legend by younger musicians on the jazz scene, particularly in the former case the Chicago jazz scene. His teaching duties have included a faculty position at the University of Illinois, and as a performer he has toured with an array of stars, including Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, and Rosemary Clooney. On the local scene, one of his key positions has been as a member of an expanded ensemble eventually dubbed the Chicago Jazz Orchestra following its previous existence as the Jazz Members Big Band. The group has backed up guest vocalists Joe Williams and Kurt Elling, trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Clark Terry, and saxophonist Jimmy Heath.
Trumpeter Davis has appeared on a respectable number of recordings, although not nearly the mound created by the aforementioned bassist. The trumpeter's discography is also something of a study of Chicago jazz performers whose reputations have not blown that far beyond the Windy City. The trumpeter's musical interests have included African music, a subject he specialized in during his ethnomusicology student days. Thus, his mentors include not only brass players but African drumming masters such as Gideon Foli Alorwoyle and Abubakari Lunna. Players on Chicago's busy, highly jazz-influenced post-rock scene have involved Davis in appropriate projects, including a tribute to Miles Davis.