Miles Davis Day

May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991


Click here to Support Jazz on the Tube

Trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Miles Dewey Davis III was born on May 26, 1926, in Alton, Illinois, and raised in East St. Louis, Missouri.

His first teacher was local musician Elwood Buchanan, who was firmly, even violently, against using vibrato on the trumpet.

After high school, Davis enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music.

He spent his first weeks in town trying to find his idol Charlie Parker, which led to his joining in jam sessions at two of the birthplaces of bebop, Minton’s Playhouse and Monroe’s.

The definitive cool jazz trumpeter, Miles Davis, is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century.

With his groups, beginning in the mid-1940s, he was prominent in the advancement and development of newly emerging styles, including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, and jazz fusion.

After spending his youth split between East St. Louis, Illinois, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Miles first emerged on the New York scene as a student at the Juilliard School of Music.

There, he began a regimen of nightly jam sessions at the famed Harlem nightclub, “Minton’s Playhouse,” with musicians such as Fats Navarro, J. J. Johnson, and Thelonious Monk.

During the late ’40s, he forged a strong friendship with composer Gil Evans, and after a period of personal and professional hardship in the early 1950s.

After resolving struggles, which included winning his battle with heroin dependency, Miles Davis made a landmark appearance at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival with his Quintet featuring John Coltrane.

The second “Miles Davis Quintet” performed in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1967.


Miles Davis, trumpet
Herbie Hancock, piano
Wayne Shorter, tenor sax
Ron Carter, bass
Tony Williams, drums


Click here to Support Jazz on the Tube