FESTIVAL PRODUCTIONS, INC.-NEW ORLEANS
Quint Davis is CEO of Festival Productions Inc.–New Orleans and the producer and director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, one of the world’s great festivals. His efforts have been instrumental in the growth of the Jazz & Heritage Festival, bringing to international prominence an event showcasing Louisiana music, food and crafts. The annual economic impact of Jazz Fest is approximately $300 million to the city of New Orleans.
PRODUCER ON A NATIONAL SCALE
Davis served as producer/director of America’s Reunion on the Mall, a two-day multi-stage festival as part of the 1993 United States Presidential Inaugural Celebration. One million people attended the event on the National Mall between Capitol Hill and the Washington Monument. In January of 1997, Festival Productions, Inc.-New Orleans once again produced a festival for the 53rd Presidential Inauguration. An American Journey, with four stages, two food tents and a technology pavilion, entertained approximately a half a million people over two days on the National Mall.
Since 1970, Davis has been associated with George Wein, the impresario who has produced thousands of events since 1954, including the seminal Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival.
Davis designed and produced, in conjunction with Essence Magazine, the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans from its inception in 1995, when the event celebrated the magazine’s 25th anniversary through 2007. Under his stewardship the event became widely regarded as the biggest and best annual celebration of African-American music and culture.
THE WORLD IS A FESTIVAL
By the time he had reached his early twenties, Davis was already road managing tours, including the first visits of both B.B. King and Muddy Waters to Africa, as well as overseas tours with Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, John Mayall and many others. He also conducted European tours featuring artists such as Duke Ellington, McCoy Tyner and B.B. King.
Davis’ work with Festival Productions as a production coordinator put him on the front line at most of the company’s festivals, including the Benson & Hedges Blues festivals in Dallas and Atlanta, the Black Heritage Festival in Toyahasi, Japan, and the Newport Jazz and Folk festivals in Newport, Rhode Island. Davis produced two festivals on the Philadelphia waterfront, Jambalaya Jam and RiverBlues, from 1986-1995. In the summer of 1992, The Great Gospel Picnic Weekend in Philadelphia was yet another festival produced by Davis. Also that summer, Davis traveled to Bangkok with the Tuxedo Brass Band to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand.
Quint Davis has also produced the Ben & Jerry’s “One World, One Heart” festivals in Chicago and Vermont, two free events directed to support social causes. He produced the Lifetime Tribute to John Lee Hooker in Madison Square Garden, the Grand Opening of the Rouse Riverwalk Development in New Orleans and from 1985 to 1998, he organized the New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness concert to benefit the area’s hungry and homeless people. In June of 1994, Davis produced a Fats Domino concert for the National Conference of State Legislatures. In May of 1995, at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, Davis produced the Gala Performance of Jazz Compositions of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, another event for Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. In July of 1997, Davis produced the third annual Rockport Rhythm & Blues Festival at Newport, a benefit for the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and the first new festival to bear the Newport name in 40 years.
On Memorial Day weekend of 1998, Davis returned to Washington, DC to produce the first-ever Kennedy Center American Music Festival (AMJAM) for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The three-day festival celebrated the origins and legacies of America's music and culture with six performance stages, as well as food booths and crafts exhibits.
The year 2000 brought two new exciting events for Davis and Festival Productions, Inc.-New Orleans. In its inaugural year, the Acura Music Festival traveled to nine cities throughout the country presenting the music of John Fogerty, and Louisiana artists such as Dr. John, Aaron Neville and Irma Thomas, serving authentic Louisiana food and showcasing original arts and crafts. In 2001, the touring festival featured Paul Simon, and in 2002, featured Santana.
For the New Orleans Saints 2000 season, Davis and his team created a New Orleans Party in the Louisiana Superdome for the over 60,000 fans in attendance. Each game featured local musicians and children’s entertainment in the Club level lounges and a parade throughout the arena by the Saints Go Marching In Brass Band & Social Aid & Pleasure Club. Several games included on field performances by artists such as Priestess Ava Kay Jones & Voodoo Macumba, Aaron Neville, Doug Kershaw, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint and Dr. John. Quint continues to produce special music programming for the Saints, including appearances by The Steve Miller Band and Jimmy Buffett for 2006-2007 season.
Other festivals Davis has produced include Popeyes 30th Anniversary Festival (2002), the Memphis Music Festival, the KOOL Pacific Music Festival in Hawaii, the Ohio Bell Blossom Music Center Jazz Festival in Cleveland and Akron, the Knebworth Rock Festival (the London equivalent of Woodstock), the Capital Radio Jazz Festival, also in London, and the Maccabee Beer Israel Jazz Festival in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
HONORS & AWARDS
Davis has received many awards for his professional work and his contributions to the New Orleans community. Most recently, he was honored with the title of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture. He received a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album of the year in 1989 for Professor Longhair’s “Houseparty New Orleans Style,” The Gambit Big Easy Entertainment Award for Album of the Year (“Houseparty New Orleans Style”), Best Single Event of the Year - Second Sunday of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, The Role Models for 1988 from the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans Tourism Award, a Hunger Awareness Award from Bread of the World of New Orleans (1988), The New Orleans Arts Award from the Arts Council of New Orleans (1989), a BeauxArt by the Board of Directors and the SweetArts Ball Committee of the Contemporary Arts Center (1990), the Shamrock Award for Distinguished Leadership from the National Kidney Foundation of Louisiana (1991), distinctive celebrity as a “Mover and Shaker” by the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Garden Study Club of New Orleans (1991), special recognition and dedication awards for the outstanding presentation of La Noche Latina which has helped to promote Hispanic music and culture in New Orleans (1991, 1993) and the Gospel Outreach Committee Award of Louisiana recognizing his major contribution to and support of Gospel music. In 1998, Davis traveled to Los Angeles on behalf of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to accept an award for "Music Festival of the Year" from Pollstar Magazine. The Festival received this award again in 1999 and 2001.
Davis was honored in 2000 by the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau with The Lester E. Kabacoff Hospitality Award, the organization’s highest award for his contributions to the New Orleans community and its musical legacy. In 2001, Davis received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame for his continued support of the culture and heritage of Louisiana. The Hall of Fame not only presented the award to him, but also renamed the award “The Quint Davis Lifetime Achievement Award.”
POST-HURRICANE KATRINA PRODUCTIONS
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2005)—the greatest natural disaster in the history of the United States—Davis’ production acumen and creative drive would prove invaluable to relief efforts and the revival of New Orleans. In September 20, 2005, less than one month after the storm struck New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, Davis and his staff co-produced the benefit concert From the Big Apple to the Big Easy at Madison Square Garden in New York City, featuring Elton John, Simon & Garfunkel, Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews, Lenny Kravitz, Bette Midler, and many others, including a host of New Orleans artists.
In April of 2006, Davis and his company mounted the highly successful, first post-Katrina New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival less than nine months after more half of the city had flooded and with much of the city still in ruins. Hundreds of thousands of people came to New Orleans to “Bear Witness to the Healing Power of Music,” as the Festival’s advertising campaign had invited them to do, helping spur the resurgence of the city’s all-important tourism industry. Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, The Dave Matthews Band, Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, Keith Urban, Lionel Richie, and hundreds of other performers helped to celebrate the return of the city that’s been called “The Soul of America.”
The Superdome, the site of some of the most emotional events surrounding the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, reopened on September 25, 2006, Davis and Festival Productions produced the opening musical ceremony featuring U2 and Green Day prior to the New Orleans Saints NFL Football game versus the Atlanta Falcons. ESPN’s broadcast of this Monday Night Football game would be the most-watched show in the network’s history.
21st CENTURY VISION
Davis and Festival Productions continue to produce the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival along with other special events, such as a parade, a major party and the music portions of the halftime show held in conjunction with the 2008 National Basketball Association All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. Davis and his company are committed to fashioning some of the most original, meaningful and unforgettable special events in the entertainment industry.