While he is recognized as one of film’s best-known tough guys, Robert Davi has been winning the respect and admiration of fans, critics and fellow artists with his expressive jazz singing. Davi has a new single, “New York City Christmas,” that will be out for the 2013 holiday and follows in the style of his acclaimed 2011 album, Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance (produced by Grammy-winner Phil Ramone), which hit number six on the Billboard Magazine’s Top 10 Jazz Chart.
“New York City Christmas,” recorded in the legendary Capitol Records Studio A, where Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole and The Beatles made some of their greatest music, follows in that album’s tradition. A tribute to Swing, the record was arranged by noted composer, arranger and conductor Chris Walden and reflects Davi’s deep commitment to jazz singing and his lifelong passion for music. “New York City Christmas” is his second Christmas single; his first, “Mistletoe and Holly,” released in 2011 benefited The Salvation Army.
While, Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance and his dynamic live performances may have surprised some of his fans, Davi’s love of music and entertaining began at an early age. At 15, he won First Place in the prestigious New York State School Music Association Solo Competition. As a young adult, he studied under several top vocal teachers including the legendary Tito Gobbi, Dan Ferro of Juilliard, Samuel Margolis (who taught Robert Merrill) and most recently, renowned vocal coach Gary Catona.
In his latest film role, Davi adds to his movie legacy. He joins the most recent installment of
the popular franchise “The Expendables 3,” to shoot later this year. From the memorable
villain, Colombian drug lord Frank Sanchez, in the Bond film “License to Kill” (voted one of
the top Bond villains of all time) to his stand-out performances in “The Goonies,” “Die Hard,” “Kill the Irishman,” “The Iceman” and many other films to the respected series “Profiler” and “Stargate: Atlantis,” Davi has appeared in over 100 movies and many television programs. He has garnered praise from critics, directors and co-stars, including Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner, Blake Edwards, John McTiernan, and Paul Verhoeven. He has acted opposite Marlon Brando, Roberto Benigni, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, Benicio Del Toro, Danny Glover, Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, James Franco, and Val Kilmer, among others. GQ Magazine has compared him to silver screen classics Robert Mitchum and Lee Marvin. His tough exterior masks an inner sensitivity, which he has brought to his roles as a Palestinian terrorist in the award-winning TV movie, “Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami,” and in memorable appearances in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Without a Trace,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Criminal Minds” and many more.
In 2007, Davi produced, directed co-wrote and starred in “The Dukes,” the story of a
successful Doo Wop group who falls on hard times. At the Monte Carlo Festival of Comedy,
Davi was awarded Best First-Time Director and Best Screenplay for the film and he was the only first-time director in the Premiere Section of the International Rome Film Festival, with films by Sean Penn, Robert Redford, Sidney Lumet and Julie Taymor.
Hailing from Astoria, Queens, NY, Davi attended Hofstra University on a drama scholarship. He moved to Manhattan to study with legendary acting coach Stella Adler, who became his mentor. He subsequently became a lifetime member of the Actors Studio, studying with acting teacher Lee Strasberg and also studied under Sandra Seacat, Larry Moss, Milton Katselas, Martin Landau, Mala Powers, and George Shdanoff, the creative partner and collaborator with the influential Michael Chekhov. His first screen appearance was opposite Frank Sinatra in the telefilm, “Contract on Cherry Street.”
Besides working in music, film and television, and raising his five children, four dogs, and
two cats, Davi is an active supporter of The Dream Foundation, Exceptional Children’s
Foundation, Heart of a Child Foundation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Youth
Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States, Heart of a Horse, NIAF, The Order
‘Sons of Italy’ in America (OSIA), and UNICO National. Since its inception in 1998, Davi has been the National Spokesperson for i-Safe America, which is regarded by many internet experts as the most complete internet safety program in the country and is available in grades K- 12 in all 50 U.S. states.
Davi has received numerous awards for career achievement and community involvement,
including the George M. Estabrook Distinguished Service Award from the Hofstra University Alumni Association (past recipients include Francis Ford Coppola and William Safire). He has received the FBI’s Man of the Year Award in Los Angeles and was also named KNX radio’s “Citizen of the Week” for saving a young girl from a fire in her home. Other public service awards include the Sons of Italy’s Royal Court of the Golden Lion Award and the 2004 STEP Award (Science, Technology and Education Partnership), whose past recipients include Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2007, Davi received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Italian Board of Governors in New York, and in 2008, he received the Italo-Americano Award from the Capri-Hollywood Festival. In 2011, Davi was awarded the “Military Order of the Purple Heart” (MOPH) Special Recognition Award for dedication and service honoring America’s service members, veterans, and their families.
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