Big Band Beginnings: The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra

MONROE -- Almost 20 years since their beginning, saxophonist Jeremy Davis and his band have come a long way.

"It has been a whirlwind," said Davis of the past year and a half.

Jeremy Davis, singer Clay Johnson and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra is gracing the big stage across the country, in cities like New York, Miami, Denver, Dallas, and Los Angeles to name a few.

"We do the Great American Songbook, the Frank Sinatra style standards," said Davis."We just wrapped up a show in New York City at the Iridium on Broadway." 

But you can trace their homegrown roots back to the ArkLaMiss.

"I started, like every other kid at Clairborne Elementary and went to West Monroe junior high and West Monroe High School," said Davis.

Davis went to Louisiana Tech University in the early 1990s and started a band with best friend Clay Johnson, called Howard Shaft.

"The first show that we ever did was in Howard auditorium, part of the Louisiana Tech Talent Show. It was funny because we were the first act, and we got a standing ovation, and by the end of the night, we thought we had it wrapped up -- it turns out we didn't even get honorable mention," laughed Davis, who added that years later, the band reunited for a performance at Louisiana Tech, and were finally given the recognition from that 1994 talent show -- in the form of a small trophy.

The Sundown Tavern in Ruston is another place of beginnings for the band.

"This is really kind of a musical home for us, some of the first shows we ever did," said Davis.  "It was just a smoky bar at the time, and just jam packed with people, so we really got hooked on the music business in this little room here. We played all over North Louisiana, and that kind of grew to 200 shows all over the region."

The band, a 20-piece orchestra comprised of a few other Delta natives, is one of the New York Times top 10 bands to see in New York City this July 4th holiday.

Even though they're now based in Savannah, Georgia, Davis says Northeast Louisiana will always be home sweet home.

"It's always special to be here, this place is always going to be home," he said.

The band will perform at the Vicksburg Convention Center on July 24 and at Enoch's Irish Pub in Monroe on July 25.  

Davis says they try to play a show at Louisiana Tech every year.

For more on the group, visit

(Video/images courtesy of

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