Dec 5, 2020 | Elizabeth Kuzyk
Miles Davis (Miles Dewey Davis)
26 May 1926 - 28 September 1991
American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer
I love a Renaissance man. An artist whose talents span different genres and whose creativity stays open. For me, Miles Davis is that man.
He pushed far beyond limits in his work. He flowed from jazz to what he called “new music,” giving rise to what we know as hip-hop, and made a lasting impression on R&B and soul. Miles was a pioneer.
He was liberated in his way of creating music and approached the process like no other before him. Miles was on of the only musicians who let the tape run, believing that “you can hear songs within songs.” He valued spontaneity and talent, and when he gathered an ensemble he stretched them beyond their self imposed limits. He created space for artists to expand, asking them to think deeply about what kind of sounds they could create; a famous directive of his is “don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.”
He was a creative force and explored so much more than music: painting, cooking, and developing a singular sense of style. He brought play to the way he dressed with silks, furs, scarves, lame jackets. Often changing outfits, saying he was “rehearsing his clothes.” In everything he did he stepped ahead, always forward thinking and constantly creating along the way. His work inspires me to find the flow and keep moving. As he eloquently said, “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.”