Michael Davenport-longtime manager of jazz artists at the Merlin Company-succumbed to pancreatic cancer on Monday, March 12.
Born in 1941, Davenport devoted nearly 40 years of his life to the music industry, though he remained staunchly pro-artist, reflecting his belief in progressive political causes. He began his music business involvement with a stint at the UCLA Student Committee for the Arts as producer of jazz events, but strayed from the field when he accepted a position as a literary agent in the mid-’60s.
Davenport returned to the music industry in the early ’70s as an agent representing high-profile acts like the Beatles and Rolling Stones, but moved into managing jazz artists because of his interest in the genre. Two of his earliest clients were Freddie Hubbard and Charlie Haden, and in recent years, he managed Joe Lovano, Brad Mehldau, Manhattan Transfer and Dianne Reeves.