Tuesday, May 24, 2011

East St. Louis to celebrate Miles Davis' birthday this Thursday, May 26

The city of East St. Louis will celebrate what would have been the 85th birthday of its most famous native son, trumpeter Miles Davis, at 12:00 p.m. this Thursday, May 26 in the council chambers of the East St. Louis Municipal Bldg, 301 River Park Drive.

According to a news release, "the free family event will include a “likeness”-adorned cake; jazz by Reginald Thomas and the 85th Birthday Jazz Ensemble; “Milestone: The Birth of an Ancestor,” a poetic elegy/multimodal exhibit by ESL poet laureate Eugene B. Redmond (and Soular Systems Ensemble); and reminiscences by Miles’ high school classmates and childhood friends."

Davis (pictured), who died in 1991, was born in Alton and raised in East St. Louis from age one. He graduated from Lincoln Senior High School in 1944 and attended the Julliard School of Music before launching a professional career that made him one of the most popular and influential jazz musicians of all time. When ESL dedicated the Miles Dewey Davis III Elementary School in 1982, Davis and Cicely Tyson, his wife at the time, attended the ceremony, as did Davis’ high school teacher Elwood Buchanan.

For more information on Thursday's Miles Davis birthday celebration, contact Lauren Parks by calling 618-482-6601 or via email at lparks @ cesl.us; or E. B. Redmond by calling 618-650-3991 or by email at eredmon@siue.edu.

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