RTV: Davey Williams

Release Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2010

This RTV episode features Davey Williams improvising on his guitar.

Performance date: 10/11/2002
Episode release date: 05/12/2010
Host: Phoebe Legere


Davey Williams has been known for several decades as one of the finest painters of seashells alive, using pleasant colors and a small brush with great intuitive skills. Thursday before last, he abandoned this activity briefly to take up improvising music on guitar. This pursuit, while less satisfying to an audience than watching laborious hand-tinting of seashells, may be helpful in alleviating dismal reports from television news, and hopefully more “informative.” At the least, any attempts at profiteering will be brief and tasteful, while reasoned editorial content promises to be virtually non-existent, which it usually is on network tv anyway.

Williams has performed at most of the leading venues and festivals of new composed and improvised music in North America and Europe (well over 1500 concerts since 1974). He has appeared on over 40 published recordings, many under his name. He has performed in groups such as the Curlew, Knitting Factory line-ups, LaDonna Smith, and “Cyd Cherise.” Williams has collaborated extensively with a variety of artists including Min Tanaka, the Shaking Ray Levis, Gunter Christmann, Anne LeBaron, John Zorn, Eugene Chadbourne, Kramer, Roger Turner, Marcus Eichenberger/Philip Micol, Billy Jenkins, and Gustavo Matamoros. He was the co-founder/editor of the Improvisor journal of free improvisation, and served on advisory panel to National Endowment for the Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts.