JSU will be ‘Miles Ahead’ of the rest when it unveils legendary trumpeter’s art exhibit



Jackson State University will unveil the “Miles Davis Exhibit: We’re Miles Ahead” at 5:30 Thursday, Nov. 8, at the JSU Downtown Gallery 101 W. Capitol St.

The exhibit, being shown for the first time in Mississippi, features 15 selections of personal art and photos created by the internationally renowned musician and artist.

Davis’ son, Erin Davis, and his nephew, Vince Wilburn Jr., will be at the event. Also attending is Darryl Porter, producer of the 2015 feature film “Miles Ahead” starring Don Cheadle and Ewan McGregor.

Shonda McCarthy, director of JSU art galleries, was crucial in bringing the trumpeter’s latest show to the HBCU.

“Miles Davis was a phenomenal musician and an amazing artist. His life is a reflection of the duality and fluidity found in creativity. He is also a great example to our students of what one can accomplish by focusing on their talents,” she said.

Most remember Davis as one of the most innovative figures in jazz history. He notched his mainstream breakthrough with 1970′s “Bitches Brew,” which reached No. 35 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum. His 1959 album, “Kind of Blue,” ranks as the best-selling jazz album of all time. Rolling Stone lists “Kind of Blue” in its round-up of the 500 Greatest Albums ever.

However, Davis was also the consummate fine artist, with sold-out international art exhibitions of “We Want Miles” hitting Paris; Montreal, Canada; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “Miles Davis: The Art of Cool” was also a featured exhibit showcased in California.

McCarthy expressed the significance of students having an opportunity to speak with Erin Davis, Wilburn and Porter.



“Giving our students the chance to engage with our special guests is an interdisciplinary lesson for them,” McCarthy said. “It’s a lesson that combines art, music and business, so our youth will learn and understand the many possibilities that art offers.”

Davis was a world-class Renaissance man who changed the course of music and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, defying music categorization. To date, he has won eight Grammy Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and 10 of his recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. More recently, the soundtrack for “Miles Ahead” won a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.

In the words of Davis, “My future starts when I wake up every morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life.”  

For those interested in attending the Nov. 8 unveiling, please RSVP by clicking here. The event is from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. The exhibit runs Nov. 8 – Nov. 30