Jo 'Cool' Davis
Jo Cool Davis makes no apologies for his name, his god, his music. It's all powerful and all-cool. One of the most-recorded contemporary gospel soloists, Jo Cool Davis has made 23 recordings to date, beginning in 1969 when the singer was 16 years old.
Originally from New Orleans, Jo Davis perfected his art primarily in the Central City area. He cites local artists including Aaron Neville, Jerry Butler, Harld Lewis, and the Reverend Louis Landrum as well as Jackie Wilson among his influences. Davis believes gospel music should be presented to non-traditional gospel venues such as clubs, festivals, and civic events. He has shared the stage with such unlikely artists as Fugazi and Cowboy Mouth, and performed in a wide variety of venues across forty of the sixty-two Louisiana parishes.
Davis has received many honors acknowledging his lifetime of commitment to gospel music, including the 1987 Gospel Music Heritage Award, presented by the Southwestern Radio Broadcasters. The same group presented Jo with the Introspective Award in 1989; he also received the Pioneers Recording Award from the Spread the Word Gospel Organization that year. He has received the Big Easy award for Best Gospel Group or Artist in 1993 and 2013. Over the course of 45 years Jo has received the most gospel solo awards of any southern artist, and has performed at more Gospel Brunches than any other vocalist.
While it's perhaps just a footnote to his stellar singing career, Jo Cool Davis was also the best known and longest-running doorman and emcee at Tipitina's music venue, having held that post for more than 28 years.