Helga Davis

Helga Davis served as a principle actor in the 25th-anniversary international revival of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass's seminal opera Einstein on the Beach. Her appearance in You Us We All by Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond) and Andrew Ondrejcak marked her fifth at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival.

Among the many works written for her are Faust's Box, written and directed by acclaimed Italian contemporary music composer Andrea Liberovici; Oceanic Verses by Paola Prestini, with libretto by Donna DiNovelli and video by Ali Houssani; Elsewhere by Missy Mazzoplli and Maya Beiser; and The Blue Planet, a multi-media theater piece written by Peter Greenaway and directed by Saskia Boddeke. She was also the co-star of The Temptation of St. Anthony directed by Robert Wilson, with libretto and score by Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock.  

Recently, Davis performed Yet Unheard by Courtney Bryan at Cooper Union, a work based on the poem by Sharan Strange and performed on the first anniversary of Bland's death. Her work First Responder was conceived and performed at MassMoCA this fall after an invitation to respond to Nick Cave's Until.

In 2008, Helga joined New York Public Radio to host overnight music and won an ASCAP Multimedia Award for her work on WNYC’s 24:33 – an all-day festival of composer John Cage’s recorded music, interviews and live performances. In 2009, she transitioned to Q2 Music, and has been the channel’s primary host for live concerts and interviews in The Greene Space at WQXR. In addition, she has hosted live shows and conducted conversations with Pulitzer Prize-winning composers including John Luther Adams, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, as well as with Cornel West, Kronos Quartet, and the 2015-2016 artists-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and served as a repeat commentator for WNYC’s Battle of the Boroughs. 

Davis begins 2017 with long-time collaborator Daniel Alexander Jones on a new piece for his alter ego, Jomama Jones at the Black Light Festival in Minneapolis, as well as perform in a new work, Texts and Beheadings, with Yale School of Drama professor Karin Coonrod. She is also working on her second production with Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon, The Parable of the Sower, based on the novel by Octavia E. Butler.

Among her many accolades, David Keenan, of Wire Magazine, describes Ms. Davis as “a powerful vocalist with an almost operatic range and all the bruised sensuality of Jeanne Lee," while Robert Wilson writes "Helga Davis is a beautiful, natural performer with an inner power and strength that is truly unique. She combines voice and movement in a united whole that is spellbinding. Her genius in her stillness and quietness evoke a very deep emotion. She is radiant in every way."

Helga Davis appears in the following:

The Greene Space

Q2 Music Presents: Bang on a Can All-Stars "Field Recording" Album Release

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

7:00 PM

Wed, May 13 | Be the first to hear the upcoming release from the ensemble with a performance of the complete album live from The Greene Space at WQXR. A live webcast will be available.

The Greene Space

Battle of the Boroughs 2015: Queens

Friday, February 20, 2015

7:00 PM

Fri, Feb. 20 | Queens takes the stage in our quest to find New York City's best up-and-coming musical act. Come for a party, hear great music, then vote for your favorite performance.

The Greene Space

Battle of the Boroughs 2015: Manhattan

Friday, February 6, 2015

7:00 PM

Fri, Feb. 6 | Sold Out- Manhattan is sold out, but join us for the Bronx on Feb. 13. Manhattan takes the stage in our quest to find New York City's best up-and-coming musical act. 

On-Demand Video: Q2 Music's 'Become Ocean' Listening Party with John Luther Adams

Friday, September 26, 2014

Watch Q2 Music's exclusive conversation and listening party with the Pulitzer Prize winner, hosted by Helga Davis.

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The Greene Space

'Become Ocean' Listening Party with John Luther Adams

Friday, September 12, 2014

8:00 PM

Fri, Sept. 12 | Experience the Pulitzer Prize winner's expansive work in this exclusive event, featuring engulfing surround-sound, just as the composer meant for it to be heard. 

On-Demand Video: Q2 Music Presents Kronos Quartet 40th Birthday Celebration

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Kronos Quartet, one of the most renowned and influential new-music groups of our time, celebrated its 40th anniversary with an exclusive evening of music and conversation in The Greene Space on March 24.

 

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The Greene Space

Q2 Music Presents: Kronos Quartet 40th Birthday Celebration

Monday, March 24, 2014

7:30 PM

One of the most renowned and influential new-music groups of our time celebrates 40 years with an exclusive evening of music and conversation. Watch a live video webcast at 7:30pm ET.

On-Demand Video: New Tech City's Tech, Music & the Brain with Laurie Anderson and Guests

Thursday, February 06, 2014

It was an evening of music and mind during a live event in The Greene Space on Tuesday, February 4.

New Tech City’s Manoush Zomorodi and Q2 Music’s Helga Davis talked tech, music and the brain with iconic performance artist, composer and musician Laurie AndersonMary Farbood, Assistant Professor in the Music Technology program at New York University, and Mari Kimura, Director of the Future Music Lab at the Atlantic Music Festival and an instructor at Juilliard.

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The Greene Space

New Tech City: Tech, Music & the Brain

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

7:00 PM

Join Q2 Music’s Helga Davis and New Tech City’s Manoush Zomorodi for an evening of music and mind. With iconic performance artist, composer and musician Laurie Anderson and Mary Farbood, assistant professor in the Music Technology program at New York University. Watch the live video webcast here at 7pm ET!

The Greene Space

Ecstatic Music Festival® 2014 Kick-Off

Friday, January 31, 2014

7:00 PM

Fri, Jan. 31 | Q2 Music presents Brooklyn-based indie trio Hospitality, teamed up with the new-music wunderkinds Face the Music, to kick off the 2014 Ecstatic Music Festival. Watch a live video webcast of this sold-out show at 7pm ET.

EMANCIPATION 150: Pianist Donal Fox performs Variations on Brahms' 'Die Trauernde'

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Donal Fox is an internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and improviser known for his striking musical collages that blend elements of jazz, Latin and classical.

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The Greene Space

Chuchito Valdés Live in The Greene Space!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

7:00 PM

The Cuban piano master joins us for a two-part evening. Accompanied by a 14-piece Latin jazz band, he pays homage to his late grandfather's music from the Tropicana of the '40s and '50s and performs his own energetic blend of music. Watch on-demand video of both shows here. 

 

The Greene Space

Vocal Electrofolk:
Africa to New York

Saturday, March 16, 2013

7:00 PM

Hear bold new vocal styles from New York and Africa, featuring Helga Davis and Netsayi with Black Pressure. Presented in partnership with Original Music Workshop. Watch on-demand video of the performance now.

The Greene Space

Ecstatic Music Festival® Kick-Off

Friday, January 25, 2013

7:00 PM

Friday, Jan. 25 | Join us for Merkin Concert Hall's opening night of the 2013 Ecstatic Music Festival, with Shara Worden and Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Hosted by Q2 Music's Helga Davis.