The most famous jazz musician to come from the St. Louis metropolitan area, Miles Davis (pictured) was born May 26, 1926 in Alton, IL and raised in East St. Louis. Today would have been Miles' 85th birthday, and the occasion is being celebrated across the country in many ways, including an official party at East St. Louis City Hall.
StLJN also received this morning a notice of a press conference being held this afternoon to announce the Miles Davis Festival, an upcoming series of local events celebrating Miles' legacy that will include concerts, photo and art exhibits, and even a giveaway of a copy of The Genius of Miles Davis CD mega-set.
The trumpeter's estate's official representatives Miles Davis Properties, LLC are involved, as are Sony/Legacy, BB's Jazz Blues and Soups, the Nu-Art Series and its venue, Metropolitan Gallery, the Sheldon Concert Hall, and radio station WSIE (88.7 FM). More details on this as they are revealed...
Meanwhile, there's plenty of celebrating online, too. LIFE magazine has just published some previously unseen photos of Davis from 1958, and music blog The Revivalist has an extensive tribute including links to all their previous Miles coverage here. Elements of Jazz has rounded up videos of various Davis-related interviews, while GrooveNotes surveys the 85th birthday happenings in NYC and elsewhere here.
As always, we recommend the site Miles Davis Online for ongoing news of Davis, and you also may enjoy this essay MDO's Jeffrey Hyatt wrote for StLJN on this date in 2009. You can see all of StLJN's Davis-related coverage from the past six years here, and sibling site Heliocentric Worlds has a bunch of Miles Davis performances on video compiled here.