Miles Davis was an American Jazz Musician and trumpeter; he is considered one of the most significant jazz musicians of the 20th century. NYC Landmarks 50 Advisory Committee honored Miles Davis with a cultural medallion. This cultural medallion was placed at Davis’ former Upper West Side home at 312 West 77th St. He bought the home in 1958 and lived there for 25 years; in this home he composed many of his greatest hits.
Landmarks 50 Vice Chair, Barbaralee Diamonstein Spielvogel was there on Thursday May 16th, to introduce many artists and musicians that worked with Davis throughout the years. Some of the artists included Quincy Troupe, Gary Bartz, James Mtume and Wallace Roney.
Troupe is a poet and co author of Miles and Me, which is a memoir about his friendship with Miles Davis. Troupe read from his book, “Miles’ tone was masterful, for at least 35 years Miles Davis was the dominant force in Jazz.” Troupe also went on to talk about Davis and how inspirational his music has been to past generations.
Wallace Roney, a trumpeter said “Miles took me in and let me hang around”, he had the chance to be up close and learn from Miles Davis. The neighbors and other members of the press were given a performance by Wallace Roney, Gary Bartz and members of The Harlem School of the Arts Advance Jazz Combo. Some people that were just walking by came to see what was going on.
Gary Bartz, a saxophonist and clarinetist said “Miles taught me the essence of being a true artist.”He talked about various times where he would hang out with Davis and learn from him. Bartz also added “Miles was one of the funniest men I’ve ever had the opportunity to be around.”
James Mtume, soul musician, songwriter and composer, talked about when he would hang out with Davis in the same home and they would make music together. Mtume said “I haven’t been in this house in over 40 years”, then he added, “he’s still in there”, implying that Miles’ spirit and essence are still in the house.