Meet David Banks – A Community Treasure

Dr. David Banks is a community treasure with a giving nature.

He is a classically trained musician with more than 45 years’ experience in musical genres including jazz, Gospel, R&B, country and top-40. His first professional experience as an opening act for a major artist occurred when he took the stage, performing prior to the Staple Singers. He has since opened for or played with such greats as the Yellowjackets, Ramsey Lewis, BB King, Shirley Caesar, The Hawkins Singers, the Duke Ellington Orchestra (Mercer Ellington), Roy Ayers, Eric Essix, Stanley Jordan and many more.

In 1982, he made a full commitment to the ministry of Gospel and gave up secular music for good. After a 20-year lay out from professional music he redefined himself as a Gospel artist, and integrated jazz into his repertoire. The jumpstart was a chance association with Zoe Records out of London, England.

With evangelistic purpose, he serves the music community in a variety of ways. He assists area venues with scheduling artists and talent. He is a walking encyclopedia on the cultural scene throughout this region and freely shares what he knows. He created “Jazz-Up,” a weekly entertainment newsletter that is distributed by e-mail to well over 6,000 people. He is up-to-date on happenings in Birmingham, Montgomery, Tuskegee, Auburn, Columbus, Atlanta, Macon and Savanah. More than just a newsletter, “Jazz-Up” is a network of art enthusiasts who share information through their trusted nexus — Dr. David Banks.

An innovator, David formed a Gospel jazz big band with more than 14 performers and over 25 affiliated musicians and artists. His musical capacity includes a horn section, a full rhythm section, dancers, special vocal performance features and percussionists. He maintains a busy performance schedule that includes various churches in and around Alabama, Georgia and Florida, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Jule Collins Smith Museum in Auburn. He also performed during the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March where President Obama was the keynote speaker.

His story is even more interesting because of his birthplace. Dr. David Banks was born in Monrovia, the capital city of the West African country, Liberia.

Since infancy, David’s whole life has been tied to  Tuskegee University. His father, was affiliated with Tuskegee University and was teaching agriculture in Liberia, when the Banks’ adopted David from a Liberian family. Following in his father’s footsteps, David Banks also teaches at Tuskegee University.

We are blessed to have this talented man with his tremendously generous spirit, as a treasure enhancing our quality of life.

You can catch David Banks performing at The Loft in Columbus, Georgia on Friday, August 4, 2017 beginning at 6:00pm (CST).

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