Big Band, Big Dreams, Big Hearts


Published:

In Sinatra’s words, the best is yet to come for the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra.

As far as famous folks go, Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson have entertained a lot of them. The life-long friends and duo behind the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra recently performed at The V Foundation Wine Celebration in Napa, California, where they also curated the entertainment.

Guests at the event included former San Antonio Spurs player, David Robinson; the Ragin’ Cajun, James Carville; celebrity chef, Emeril Lagasse; Duke Blue Devil’s Coach K and countless other big names. To give an idea of the scope of celebrity in attendance, the event raised seven million dollars in a single day to the sounds of Davis and Johnson’s signature New Orleans big band stylings.

“We were able to go out there and really impress these people. I mean these are people who drive Bentleys around all the time,” Johnson marveled. “We’ve played for Ross Perot, Jerry Jones, T-Boone Pickens,” Davis added.

 

The Power of Music

As much as they are astounded and humbled by the opportunity to perform for stars, they’re equally as likely to be found serenading a room full of seniors at a retirement center or traveling to bring the joy of music to underserved communities around the world.

Their project, Equinox Global Missions, takes them to destinations like India and Israel where Sinatra’s lyrics may be lost in translation, but the spirit of the music unites everyone in song. “We realized we could use our music as a tool to lift people up and bring people together,” Johnson said.

Davis continued, “There is something special in music that allows people to cross religious borders, language barriers and age differences. Now, we’re planning an expansion of Global Missions with speaking engagements where we talk about that power in music.” The two find sponsors to underwrite the trips and pro bono performances so they can bring their 17-piece band and share the music free of charge.

 

Growing the Business

If that doesn’t keep them busy enough, Davis and Johnson recently launched Equinox Entertainment, a full-service entertainment agency. “This isn’t new for us,” Davis explained. “If people called us wanting great music and we were booked, we didn’t say no. We’d ask what they wanted, and we would book someone for them,” Davis explained. “We’re just making it official.”

Unlike other agencies, Equinox doesn’t present a massive stable of talent to choose from. Rather, they consider themselves curators in the business of creating custom experiences. They call on their extensive network of musicians, DJs, comedians and Broadway stars to coordinate entertainment for any kind of event from weddings to corporate conferences and theater performances to restaurant bookings.

Their first project was for BURST Oral Care, one of the fastest-growing subscription-based services in America. “They’re huge. They’re this young, hip, sexy company. Sexy toothbrushes,” Clay described. BURST needed entertainment for their company convention synchronically called BURSTCon. “This is a big deal,” Davis and Johnson thought. They saw the potential. It was a job interview for a life-changing partnership.

“It was the worst disaster in twenty years,” Davis confessed. A power glitch had shorted out their speaker system. “Everything was cooked. All the fuses were blown. There was smoke coming out of the speakers. Clay was convinced it was over.” Davis thought otherwise, and the band played on.

As evening fell, the dew settled on the dance floor. “It was slicker than snot on a doorknob,” Johnson joked in characteristic Southern idiosyncrasy. “Their music director slipped and hit his head on the stage. Things were not going well.”

“To make an awful, long, horrific story short, my gut was right,” Davis said. “They saw people who were committed and willing to go the extra mile.” After the conference, BURST put Equinox on retainer. It speaks volumes about who they are as people and as business owners.

 

Life of the Party

That first near miss under their belts, the two aren’t slowing down. “As Equinox Entertainment has taken off, Equinox Orchestra has been busier than ever,” Johnson said.

On top of that, they’re launching another iteration of the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra in the Equinox All-Stars. “It’s something we’ve had requests for over the years,” Davis said. People would ask for songs that are outside of the Equinox Orchestra’s typical repertoire, so they decided to create a rock ’n’ roll band with a horn section and a rotating cast of three to five additional singers. “We can do everything from shag to Motown to Bruno Mars to Beyoncé,” Davis explained. “It’s really a party band.”

Davis, Johnson and The Equinox All-Stars will be getting the party started at Dine South this year - showing us their talent for entertainment, finishing each other’s thoughts and bringing a sense of fun to every stage they take (and every interview they give.)

Visit equinoxorchestra.com/upcoming to view their upcoming shows.

Subscribe now to the print edition to read the full article or get instant access to our interactive digital edition.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Greatest Professional Photographers 2020

Calling South’s Greatest Photographers! Are you a professional photographer with beautiful work? Enter South’s Greatest Photographers 2020!

Greatest Amateur Photographers 2020

Calling South’s Greatest Photographers! Are you passionate about capturing life through a lens? Enter South’s Greatest Photographers 2020!
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Events Calendar

  • “Summon the Sea! Contemporary Artists and Moby Dick” Exhibition

    Oct 11, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Summon the Sea! Contemporary Artists and Moby Dick examines the work of six contemporary artists—Corey Arnold, Guy Ben-Ner, Patty Chang, Tristin...

  • Savannah Philharmonic Chorus Auditions

    Sep 07, 2019
    10:00 AM - 2:00 PM @ Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle

    The Savannah Philharmonic is holding auditions throughout the year for singers to have the opportunity to join the Chorus for the exciting...

  • SS Savannah (1819-2019)

    May 23, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Ships of the Sea Museum

    2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's groundbreaking trans-Atlantic crossing.  In recognition of this monumental achievement,...

  • Savannah Philharmonic Chorus Auditions

    Sep 07, 2019
    10:00 AM - 2:00 PM @ Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle

    The Savannah Philharmonic is holding auditions throughout the year for singers to have the opportunity to join the Chorus for the exciting...

  • "Portrait of the Artist" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Aug 03, 2019
    12:00 PM - 12:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    This exhibition brings together several photographic portraits of recognizable creative individuals from Telfair’s permanent collection....

  • 17 South Haunted Forest

    Oct 04, 2019
    7:00 PM - 11:00 PM @ 17 South

    Do you dare to enter the 17 South Haunted Forest after the sun goes down and night begins to fall? Shadows take on a life of their own in this...

  • Alee Temple Haunted Terror Plantation

    Oct 04, 2019
    7:30 PM - 11:00 PM @ Alee Shrine Temple

    Our Haunted House is primarily an indoor event, our Haunted House is one of the scariest in Georgia! We are located in the scariest city in...

  • Wicked South Haunted Corn Maze

    Oct 04, 2019
    All Day @ Madrac Farms

    WICKED SOUTH PRODUCTIONS, LLLP IS BRINGING THE HAUNT INDUSTRY TO SAVANNAH WITH THEIR INAUGURAL HAUNTED ATTRACTION. OWNERS TOM MCCORMICK AND EMEKA...

  • Tanger Outlets Pink Campaign

    Oct 01, 2019
    All Day @ Tanger Outlets Pooler

    Tanger Outlets is offering shoppers special savings in return for supporting the ongoing efforts to end breast cancer during the month of October....

  • 2019 Halloween Event

    Oct 19, 2019
    All Day @ Bass Pro Shops

    Free Halloween Event!  *October 19 & 20 and October 25-31  * Weekends: Noon-5pm * Weekdays: 5pm-7pm *October 31: 4pm-8pm Free...

  • Savannah Moose Lodge Haunted Forest

    Oct 04, 2019
    All Day @ Savannah Moose Lodge

    Official 2019 Haunted Forest Dates: October 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th, 31st, Noveber 1st & 2nd.

  • 2019 Savannah Speed Classic

    Oct 24, 2019
    8:00 AM - 3:30 PM @ Hutchinson Island

    Savannah is known for its century old buildings, antique shops, boutiques, and fabulous River Street restaurants. What is not so well-known is that...

  • Halloween at Coligny

    Oct 24, 2019
    4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

  • Pace Lap Party

    Oct 24, 2019
    5:00 PM - 7:30 PM @ Ellis Square at City Market

    Celebrate the official kick-off to the Hilton Head Island Concours d'Elegance & Motoring Festival with a party in the city. A small group...

  • Bras & Bubbly

    Oct 24, 2019
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Thibault Gallery

    The Fifth Annual Bra Project will conclude its tour of the Lowcountry with the Bras & Bubbly evening event on Thursday, Oct. 24, when the winner of...

  • DineSouth 2019

    Oct 24, 2019
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Savannah Station

    The 12th annual DineSouth is the premier dining event in Savannah — and this year's event is going to be the best yet! In conjunction...

  • Girls'' Night Out: "Rosemary''s Baby"

    Oct 24, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    It’s been 51 years since this psychological supernatural horror film scared us to death and launched a new occult genre in filmmaking. So, it...

  • Grab a Bag for Kids

    Oct 25, 2019
    11:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ Plantation Cclub at the Landings

    Horizons Savannah announces its seventh annual charity luncheon and purse auction, Grab a Bag for Kids, will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct....

  • Friday Concert Series

    May 03, 2019
    7:00 PM - 12:00 AM @ Historic Courthouse, Downtown Blairsville on the S

    Come enjoy live music every Friday Night from the first Friday of May through the end of October. The Historic Union County Court House will host...

  • Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    Oct 18, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    The Tybee Arts Association presents a new and shocking version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of depravity, lust, love and horror in...


Show More...

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Scenes of the South

Georgia Historial Gala Pre-Party

After one and a half years of renovations, Mr. Richard C. Kessler has restored the Armstrong Mansion, a National Historic Landmark, to its original 1919 grandeur and which was unveiled earlier this year. On Saturday, Oct. 19, Mr. Kessler hosted a private cocktail reception at his residence, Armstrong Kessler Mansion, prior to the Historic Savannah Foundation gala, where he received the Historic Savannah Spirit Award, recognizing his restoration efforts.

Anne Pappas Grand Opening

Anne Pappas Interiors celebrated the Grand Opening of their new full-service design studio and showroom at 101 W. Liberty St. in the heart of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District, on Thursday, Oct. 10. “This inspiring space will allow our talented team of designers to provide exceptional creative services to clientele who appreciate the art of design,” said Pappas. A member of Coastal Living and Southern Living’s exclusive Designer Network, Pappas offers a fresh, inspired approach to interior design, incorporating a variety of textures and design elements inspired by nature, travel and global style. Pappas and her team welcomed guests with light hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at the event.

Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala

Glitz and glamour were galore at the Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala celebrating the Savannah Entertainment Industry as Charles (Bo) Bowen and his team orchestrated the event of the year. The night was unforgettable for all, but even more so for many hard-working and deserving individuals who were recognized for their contributions to the local film and television industry

Bitty and Beau's at Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott gives back with Bitty & Beau’s Saturday, Sept. 28. Kendra Scott gave 20% the proceeds of their sales from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to Bitty & Beau’s Coffee. Bitty & Beau’s, which aims to provide jobs and change the way people see those with special needs and disabilities, provided muffins and coffee.

Brews for a Cause September at Mansion on Forsyth

South magazine in collaboration with Southern Eagle hosted Brews for a Cause at Casimir’s Lounge at the Mansion on Forsyth Park on Thursday, Sept. 26 in a successful effort to raise money and awareness for CURE Childhood Cancer.

Savannah Hospice Gala

Hospice Savannah celebrated 40 years of the “Art of Living” at the Landings Plantation Ballroom on Thursday, Sept. 25.

Latin Dance Party Featuring Gino Castillo & The Cuban Cowboys

The 38th Annual Savannah Jazz Festival hosted a Latin Dance Party, which featured Gino Castillo & the Cuban Cowboys on Thursday, Sept. 25 at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum. Castillo - the Afro-Cuban jazz singer and percussionist – led the Charleston-based Cuban Cowboys as they brought patrons to their feet, dancing the night away to his funky–jazz, high-energy tunes.

Grand Opening Studio 60 | Body Brite

Studio60BodyBrite owner and girl boss Bobbie Ciaccio unveiled Savannah’s newest salon to the public by hosting a grand opening, “Pink Party,” on Friday, Sept. 13.

The Laughter After: George Montero's Visual Art Show

Savannah's art world gathered at the Cork House, Thursday to experience the award winning SCAD graphic design professor, Jorge Montero's opening exhibition of paintings, drawings, prints and more!

Buy Local's Big Barn Business Bash

Brews for a Cause at Husk, August 22, was truly an unforgettable night, featuring live music by Thomas Claxton and some fantastic craft beer by Southern Eagle — along with the top-notch cuisine of Chris Hathcock. A variety of incredible auction items benefited the Royce Learning Center and the Chatham Academy, including a pearl necklace from International Diamond and several rounds on the Bacon Park Golf Course!