Named one of the 100 greatest drummers of all time by Rolling Stone, Houston-born musician, Chris “Daddy” Dave has spent the past three decades producing and touring with distinguished artists. He’s recently returned to Houston to help nurture the next generation of talented Texans with his new monthly residency, DRUMHEDZ AUDIO ART at Warehouse Live.
“I've been blessed to work with incredible, amazing artists all my career and lucky enough to travel the world, but nothing compares to Texas. You can't mess with Texas,” Dave tells Houstonia.
Coming home to Houston is a full-circle moment for the percussionist. The pandemic marked a moment of reflection for Dave, and he wanted to pay it forward by uplifting up-and-coming artists. Dave, who left college early to pursue his musical interests, wants to pour into young artists and teach in a less conventional way. The residency doubles as a masterclass, where rising artists from Texas can learn firsthand from the Grammy Award-winning musician.
“Coming home made me feel that I need to give back to the community through helping to raise the new generation of talents...it kinda made sense to me that doing a monthly residency would combine that necessity of bringing some fresh air to the Houston music scene and the desire of helping, teaching and inspiring all the young artists in Houston,” he says.
Dave was a student at Houston’s coveted High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, (HSPVA) the same school attended by contemporary musicians Robert Glasper, Walter Smith III, and Eric Harland. His big break came early, leaving college at Howard University to tour with Mint Condition, the R&B group known for hits such as “U Send Me Swingin” and “Breakin My Heart,” and today he’s one of the most sought-after drummers in the music industry一you can hear his ear-bending beats on a collection of different projects, from Adele’s 21, Anderson .Paak’s Oxnard, and D’Angelo’s Black Messiah.
Dave was inspired to start the residency by his wife, who wanted to experience a “music date” in Houston but couldn’t find any spots with recurring, live performances beyond stadium concerts. “She has great taste in music and is very specific with what she likes and even if it looks like there is much happening in Houston, there are not that many events where I could bring her on a music date,” he explains.
With DRUMHEDZ AUDIO ART, Dave is creating an intimate environment where live music can be enjoyed by those who fancy small, inviting spaces. The inaugural performance took place last month with appearances from Georgia Anne Muldrow and Oswin Benjamin, with Radio Galaxy as the opening act.
With the first performance of the 12-month residency under his belt, Dave has a goal to showcase talents in Houston. The residency will be a nice addition to the city's musical landscape, highlighting emerging acts across Texas, and neighboring states. “There are many talents and grammy-nominated artists coming from Houston, but no major event is happening here. Austin has SXSW, but nothing in Houston. California has Coachella, New Orleans Jazz Fest, but nothing in Houston. I want Drumhedz Audio Art, the residency, to be a thing to be experienced in Houston,” Dave says.
Upon completing the residency, Dave plans to launch the first Drumhedz Audio Art Festival, which will showcase all of the opening acts from the past year, along with the bands of students who participated in the masterclass.
To experience the monthly DRUMHEDZ AUDIO ART residency, visit Warehouse Live’s Eventbrite.