For Lia, music is the continual thread weaving through her life, as essential as breathing and as natural as speaking. A career in music was never an explicit goal, but music was always a resonant path for Lia with a strong sense of belonging, joy, and, ultimately, a thriving career.
Lia Davis began playing piano by ear at age five. Her classical training provided a foundation for her multi-faceted music career. She is an accomplished musician across many genres, including jazz, Argentine tango, classical, folk, and pop music. Piano is her native instrument, though she also sings and plays accordion, organ, electric bass, folk harp, and drums.
She first studied jazz and improvisation with Denver-based trumpeter Ron Miles, and later with Art Lande, Eric Gunnison, Bob Gillis, and Warren Senders. Learning to improvise, first at the piano and then as a dancer, completely changed Lia’s relationship with music. Improvisation was not only a vehicle for musical exploration, it was a catalyst for self-discovery. Later, it became a metaphor that extended beyond music, a way of better understanding communication, collaboration, problem solving, teaching, and learning.
Trained by Argentine bandoneonist Daniel Diaz, she performed Argentine tango music with Daniel and the Tango Camerata for over 15 years. Tango proved to be an engaging point of convergence, drawing on both classical technique and improvisation. Lia currently plays tango music with Trio Con Brio.
The connection between music and movement is fundamental to Lia’s understanding and creation of music. She accompanied ballet and modern dance classes for twelve years at Harvard University, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, and David Taylor Dance Theater, and accompanied Eurythmy classes at the Denver Waldorf School for two years. She also composed and performed original music for student-choreographed works at Denver School of the Arts. Lia has been dancing for almost 30 years, which continues to inform her music-making.