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Miles Davis


1926

Miles Dewey Davis III is born in Alton, Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis.

1944

Miles Davis sits in with Billy Eckstine’s band, which includes Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, when they pass through St. Louis.

1944

Miles Davis moves from St. Louis to New York, where he enrolls at the Juilliard School of Music and involves himself on the jazz scene as a protégé of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.

1945

Miles Davis records as a member of Charlie Parker’s quintet on sessions for Savoy Records.

1947

Miles Davis makes his first recordings as a bandleader, cutting sides for Savoy that are credited to the Miles Davis All-Stars.

1948

The Miles Davis Nonet performs a series of shows at New York’s Royal Roost jazz club, premiering a “cooler” new sound.

1949

Miles Davis cuts the first of three sessions for Capitol Records with a nine-piece band. The recordings are released as 78 rpm singles and later collected in album form as The Birth of the Cool.

1955

Having kicked a heroin habit, Miles Davis appears at the first Newport Jazz Festival, where his show-stopping performance helps land a new contract with Columbia Records

1956

Davis releases the sophisticated ’Round About Midnight on Columbia Records, where he’ll remain for the next thirty years.

1983

Miles wins a Grammy for “Best Jazz Instrumental Performance” for the double live album We Want Miles, released the previous year.

1983

“Miles Ahead: A Tribute to an American Music Legend” is held at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The event is hosted by Bill Cosby and features the Miles Davis Alumni Orchestra, including Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams and Ron Carter.

1984

A major exhibition of artwork by trumpeter Miles Davis opens at New York’s Tower Gallery.

1984

Miles Davis accepts the Sonning Award, Europe’s most prestigious music award, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Previous winners include Leonard Bernstein, Andre Segovia and Igor Stravinsky.

1985

Miles Davis releases You’re Under Arrest. It is his final album of new material for Columbia Records, ending a thirty-year association.

1986

Miles Davis’ Tutu, his first album for the Warner Bros. label, is released. It will earn Davis his fourth Grammy.

1988

Miles Davis: The Columbia Years 1955-1985 is released. The box set is thematically organized, with an album apiece devoted to blues, standards, originals, “moods” and “electric.”

1991

Miles Davis joins Quincy Davis onstage at the Montreux Jazz Festival for a set that draws extensively from Davis’ early work with arranger Gil Evans. The performance is released as Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux.

1991

Miles Davis dies of pneumonia at St. John’s Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica, California, at age 65.

1992

Miles Davis’ last studio recording, Doo-Bop - cut with rapper Eazy Mo Bee - is released.

1993

Miles Davis posthumously wins his eight and final Grammy, for Best Rhythm & Blues Instrumental Performance, for Doo-Bop.

2002

Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue receives its third platinum certification from the RIAA, signifying sales of 3 million copies.

2003

Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew receives platinum certification from the RIAA, signifying sales of one million copies, nearly a quarter century after its initial release.

2006

Miles Davis is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 21st annual induction dinner. Herbie Hancock is his presenter.

Miles Davis