So What! The Artistry of Miles Davis – 8th Annual African-American Composers Series

May 19, 2016

June 4, 2016

12:00 PM To 5:00 PM

William Grant Still Arts Center, 2520 S. West View Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90016 United States


Event Description

This is the 8th Annual Exhibition in the William Grant Stills Art Center’s African-American Composers Exhibition & Music Education Series

The first exhibition of our 40th Anniversary year! A creative innovator, Miles Davis is an improviser and composer, a painter and master practitioner of the trumpet—a true artist whose work both mutated and evolved with the times to influence multiple genres, from jazz to funk to hip-hop to rock and roll. This exhibit of archival recordings, magazine articles, concert posters, original photographs, and a significant discography covers the life, work, and innovation of jazz master Miles Davis across eras from bebop and the birth of cool to electric experimentation and beyond. The materials exhibited are primarily drawn from the significant Alden Kimbrough Collection which has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally. These include a discography of over 107 LPs, as well as 15 78s and 8 33s. There are also selected items from the collection of Billie Green as well as artwork by Ramsess, Norm Maxwell, and ShirtKingFade. Portrait murals by AISE and Patrick H. Johnson individually, and walls designed by the show’s curator, Ami Motevalli, will create an immersive environment for the archival display. The life and work of Miles Davis is this year’s focus for The William Grant Still Arts Center’s Annual African-American Composers Series.

About the African-American Composers Exhibit :

Now in its eighth year, the exhibition series celebrates the life and work of African-American composers each spring. Combining community archives with original artwork and music education, past exhibitions in the series have included Love You Madly: A Portrait of Duke Ellington (2015), I Got My Pride: The Blues Tales of Leadbelly (2014), Arkestry of the Cosmos: The Universe Language of Sun Ra (2013), Deeds Not Words: The Life and Work of Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln (2012), A New Day: Nina Simone (2011) and The High Priest of Bop: The Jazz Odyssey of Thelonious Monk (2010).

African-American Composers Arts & Music Education Program:

The music of Miles Davis is also being presented as the So What! African-American Heritage Music and Art Education Program as part of DCA’s African-American Heritage Month. The eight-week free education series for youth ages 3-18 begins on March 15. It offers students the opportunity to learn music and art through the lens of the featured year’s composer as a way of passing lineage and heritage through the unique experience of being immersed in the work both visually and sonically. The William Grant Still Arts Center focuses on teaching music and cultural history to beginning and intermediate students of all ages through practice and playing experience in the tradition of the Arts Center’s namesake, who coined the term “Art Music”, Dr. William Grant Still. Required pre-registration for all classes will take place from February 29-March 4, and registration will be held in person for four days on a first come, first-served basis on March 5 from 10am-12noon, and March 7, 8. and 9 from 12Noon-5pm. Visit the Classes page for complete schedule of classes.

About the Alden Kimbrough Collection:

The Alden Kimbrough Collection is a private repository of artifacts documenting the lives, culture, and history of African-Americans. Developed over more than forty years, it was inaugurated by Mr. Kimbrough’s father, Dr. Jack Kimbrough (1908-1992), one of San Diego’s first Black dentists and an ardent Civil Rights activist. Focused originally on books, the Kimbrough Collection boasts significant and high-quality holdings of film posters, sheet music, journals, magazines, and other ephemera, including material on prominent persons and organizations such as Paul Robeson, Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party. In addition to in the community at the William Grant Still Arts Center, the Kimbrough Collection has been featured at exhibits at the New Museum in New York, Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and California African-American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles, and internationally in London, Bogota and Rotterdam to name a few.


William Grant Still Arts Center


How to Register?

The center is open Tuesday – Saturday, Noon-5pm. Admission is Free

Contact Information

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