Lonnie Davis

Lonnie Davis

President & CEO/Co-founder of JazzArts Charlotte

Born in Landstuhl, Germany, Davis has proud 300-year-old Louisiana Creole roots in her home of New Orleans. Following Hurricane Katrina, Davis and her family relocated to Charlotte, NC, where she became President/CEO and Co-founder of the 501(c)3 education and presenting organization, JazzArts Charlotte (JazzArts). Davis began studying music at an early age and had the privilege of attending Louisiana’s prestigious arts conservatory, NOCCA (New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts), where her passion for jazz was cultivated.

 Davis has a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in music and additional graduate work in Urban and Regional Planning. She is a flutist, arts advocate, and community leader, currently serving on numerous committees and Boards. These positions include volunteer leadership roles with both Arts NC and the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), as well as Jazz Education Network (JEN) where she serves as current Board President. 

Davis has led the development of a thriving jazz audience in Charlotte, NC, cultivating enrichment in the lives of many and the transformation of the city’s culture through her vision and work at JazzArts, now recognized as having the region’s “most diverse arts audience” in a recent research study. Under her leadership, JazzArts now operates with budget of over $1 million annually and serves thousands of students of all ages and audience members each year through various educational and performance-based programs and partnerships.

Lonnie has been recognized for her work in the arts community locally and nationally. Southern Living Magazine listed Lonnie in the top “50 People Who Are Changing the South”. Davis was also featured by BELK, Inc. for their Modern Southern Music Campaign, reaching over 5 million readers nationwide and on Lucky Brand displays in Belk department across the country. Davis has been recognized in many publications and the recipient of numerous awards over the past decade, including the recent Jazz Journalists Association “Jazz Heroes Award”.