Bio, testimonials, etc.

Hal is a dedicated lifelong music student and performer who hails from Ann Arbor (go blue!) but can be also heard strumming in Naples or Northern Michigan, depending on the weather.

He performs a variety of pop music, traditional jazz, and rock-and-roll.  Always interpreted in his own creative way,… meaning that he makes lots of mistakes, improvises the spots he can’t remember, and often wanders from song to song.   He loves what he does.

Hal is blessed to be working with some amazing collaborators including Howard White (bass), Aurora Wells (bass), and Tom Borders (musical theatre).

Ann Arbor Summer Festival / Top of the Park
Ann Arbor Summer Festival / Top of the Park

Here’s What the Experts Say:

“Hal Davis has an exceptional ear for detail that comes through in his guitar playing.  It can be heard in his choice of material. He does not play the standard songs that most guitarists play. Hal will purposely seek out challenging material to convert into guitar arrangements and masterfully execute them.”   John E. Lawrence Guitarist/Author for Mel Bay Publications/Director of the Music Performance Program/Instructor – Washtenaw Community College

I thoroughly enjoy Hal Davis every time I see him play.  He’s brings a great deal of craft to the stage; both as an instrumentalist and arranger.  His sometimes soulful, sometimes fun, always well-executed performances of both classic tunes and well-penned original songs are always an audience-pleaser.”   Jim Fleming, Fleming Artists

Fine musicianship and great song selection. I am most impressed with the band’s versatility, shifting from Latin rhythms to hard-swinging post-bop to flat-out rocking 70’s era fusion. One thing you can count on: whatever they play, they turn it into party music.”  Lee Berry, General Manager, The Michigan Theater


Hal started guitar around age eight, and is self-taught – mostly by listening to those old Beatles records.  In the mid-70’s he hooked up with Martin Simmons who taught him about arranging.  Their band, Bigfoot, was a Midwest dance club sensation.

At the turn of the century, after Hal’s big midlife transition, he started studying again in earnest, taking lessons from the amazing Larry Coryell.

I’ve never heard of this dude.  Is he really a pro musician?

Well, yes, but not always full time.  He was also a science nerd at the University of Michigan – couple of degrees, some research jobs, some teaching.  And he was head of marketing for two different public corporations.  And then CEO of a software company.  But now he’s back to music full time.  But he’s also nuts about his family, swimming and bicycling.

Why do you keep doing this?

“I’m starting to learn more, which lets me go farther.  But then I notice that there’s an ever-increasing amount to learn and experience.  So everything is always fresh and challenging.  Good news: it’s starting to get easier!  And my compositions are getting more original and interesting.  And more frequently I find those joyful moments where music performance becomes effortless and time changes…    And occasionally we experience those special times when, jamming with a band, an entire roomful of people – friends and strangers – all come together to share a musical singularity – it’s truly amazing!”


Hal performs guitar arrangements of songs by some of the worlds greatest composers.  His repertoire contains more than a few songs by Stevie Wonder, Chick Corea, Fagan and Becker, Herbie Hancock, Wes Montgomery, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis.  You’ll also be surprised to hear arrangements of pop songs – both familiar and obscure, along with some classical music which has been adapted to a jazz trio format.