Full Name: Mile Dewey Davis III
Birthdate: May 26, 1926
Birthplace: Alton, Illinois
Known for: Jazz trumpeter, Songwriter, and Bandleader.
Family: Miles Dewey Davis Jr. (Father), Cloeta Mae (Mother), Dorothy Mae and Vernon (Siblings).
Miles Davis, whose full name is Mile Dewey Davis III is a well-known African-American character in the history of jazz and music. Miles Davies biography is straightforward. He was born on May 26, 1926, in Alton, Illinois, in the United States of America, and he grew to be a jazz trumpeter, songwriter, and bandleader.
He was also a painter and an actor. Miles Davis had two siblings: an older sister Dorothy Mae and a younger brother Vernon. They lived with their parents Miles Dewey Davis Jr. and Cloeta Mae. Miles Davis’s father, Miles Dewey Davis Jr., was a dentist, while his mother, Cloeta Mae, was a musician and played the violin.
Miles Davis started his career as a musician at a very early age. By the time he reached the age of 12, music had become the most important thing in his life. The next year when he turned 13, his father bought a trumpet as a present for him.
Miles began playing in local bands for the time. He and his siblings set up talent shows, and he would play to show his skills before an audience. Miles Davis further learned to play by taking lessons from Joseph Gustat, who was a trumpeter of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
In September 1944, when Davis was eighteen, he moved to New York City to study music at the Institute of Musical Arts, where he attended classes in music theory, piano, and dictation.
He later dropped out of school. Miles Davis later battled with drug addiction that affected his performance when he played. Miles Davis, in the year 1948, formed a band with Gerry Mulligan, J.J. Johnson, Kenny Clarke, and Lee Konitz.
They achieved a lot during the short time that the groups existed and recorded tracks that were released between 1949 and 1950 as singles. This recording made by the band changed the course of contemporary jazz and served as a pioneer for the West Coast styles that reigned in the 1950s.
Miles Davis married Frances Davis in 1958, and the marriage ended in 1968. He married Betty Davis the year his first marriage ended and divorced the next year in 1969. Miles Davis then married Cicely Tyson in 1981, and the marriage ended in 1988 after Cicely filed for a divorce.
Awards and Nominations
Davis received many nominations and won many awards during his lifetime. He won eight Grammy Awards and obtained thirty-two nominations. In 1960, he won the best jazz composition. Also, in 1970, he received an award for best jazz performance.
In 1982, 1986, and 1989, he received awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance. In addition, in 1990, he won a Lifetime Achievement Award. Miles Davis won the Best R&B Instrumental Performance. Also, in 1993, Davis won the Best Large Ensemble Performance for his play at Montreux.
Aside from these awards, Miles Davis was voted Best Trumpeter in 1955. He was quite young when he began his career and was recognized at an early age. In 1957, and 1961 he was also voted Best Trumpeter by the Downbeat Readers’ Poll. Miles Davis received the Sonning Award for Lifetime Achievement in Music in 1984.
Also, he received the Doctor of Music Award in 1986 for the New England Conservatory. In 1988 and 1989, Miles Davis received the Knight Hospitaller by Order of St. John and the Governor’s Award, which was given to him by the New York State Council on Arts.
The St. Louis Walk of Fame Award and the Australian Film Institute Award for best original music was added to his long list of awards in 1990. Miles Davis received in 1991 and 1998 the Knight of Legion of Honor and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2006 and 2008, he was given the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Hollywood’s Rockwall. In 1972, Miles Davis was involved and injured in an auto accident. The injury impeded his performance on stage, so he retired from music between 1975 and 1980.
Davis returned to the public scene in the year 1981 and regained his power when he played for the next few years. He dabbled into different types of music during the 1980s and combined jazz with rock dance music.
One of the most important occurrences in the life of Miles Davies happened at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1991. Then, Miles Davis joined with an orchestra performed by Quincy Jones to stage some of the classic Gil Evans arrangement of the late 1950s.
Miles died not long after on September 28, 1991, in Santa Monica, California. His last album Doo-Bop was released to the public after his death. Miles Davis died as one of the greatest jazz musicians ever and laid a legacy for all jazz musicians.