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Jeremy Davis puts on a ‘fabulous’ show

February 20, 2014

 

Clay Johnson is the orchestra’s frontman as the singer but Jeremy Davis shines when he plays the saxaphone. – Photo courtesy of Jeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra

Clay Johnson is the orchestra’s frontman as the singer but Jeremy Davis shines when he plays the saxaphone. – Photo courtesy of Jeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra

Cody Sexton
Entertainment Editor

 

With Louisiana being the birth place of jazz music, loving it comes as natural for its residents as having a taste for crawfish and spice. As the home state of Louis Armstrong, how could it not be?

 

The air was electric as the seats for Howard Auditorium filled with people waiting for Jeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra to take the stage for his homecoming concert which served as a fundraiser for the School of Performing Arts.

 

One thing any good live entertainer knows is that you have to know the audience. As former Louisiana Tech students, Davis and his band’s singer Clay Johnson looked at home on the stage in Howard and greeted the audience as old friends.

 

From the moment the band struck up a beat, the audience was entranced. Though they tried to remain poised, it was not long before members of the audience accepted Davis’ invitation to dance along to the music and could be seen taping their toe or bobbing their heads to the beat.

 

While Davis’ name stretches across the posters and album covers, the star of the show was Johnson.

 

His stage presence was enigmatic and halfway through the show his voice had awokan the love for jazz move Louisiana residents hold in the soul.

 

The music was more than something today’s youth hears at grandpa’s house. Davis and his orchestra breathed life back into songs from the past.

 

The medley of Johnny Mercer songs like “That Old Black Magic” allegedly written about actress Judy Garland and “Moon River” from the Audrey Hepburn film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” were show highlights.

 

The audience was more receptive to songs they were familiar with and the spirit was higher when crowd pleasers like “Lady Luck” were being performed and the audience could sing along.

 

The show was unique for the band as Davis and Johnson, both from West Monroe, considered themselves right at home with their family and friends in the audience.

 

While they raved about their excitement about being back home in the south, they employed their “southern charms” and insisted everyone do as one does in church and introduces themselves to a neighbor in the audience.

 

The band was joined on stage by Lawrence Gibbs, director of the Tech jazz band, who accompanied the band on sax to the pleasure of the crowd.

 

During the band’s rendition of “Route 66” some of the members gave a solo performance to showcase their own talents, each met with generous applause.

 

Johnson paid tribute to Elvis Presley during a comical, yet soulful, cover of Presley’s “Are You Lonesome Tonight.”

 

The band followed in the steps of Presley by taking time during the song to offer “words of wisdom” to the audience, who found the comical advice entertaining.

 

As the band brought the performance to an end, they left the stage and Second Lined through the aisles while umbrella wielding audience members danced along. The scene was fitting of a performance through the streets of New Orleans and the spirit of the music was infectious. It was an embodiment of everything that has helped the state of Louisiana to stand the test of time.

 

With many thanks and thanks to God, Johnson closed the show with hopes from the band to return soon for another show.

 

And if the audience has any say in the matter, it will not be long before Jeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra bring the saints marching back into Howard for another show.

 

Email comments to cls068@latech.edu.

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