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Byron Bay Bluesfest

Find out who makes up the all star ten member Miles Electric Band

22 November 2016

As we read through all of the reviews and concert links, it’s become obvious that The Miles Electric Band have indeed managed to capture the Jazz icon’s spirit of innovation – coming together to bring the new generation of Miles Davis and paying homage to the Electric Years, the seminal time when Davis went electric and created fusion music.

 This is a special concert experience because the band will be performing and presenting the classic and influential albums ‘Bitches Brew’, ‘Jack Johnson’ and ‘On the Corner’, revisiting the repertoire from Davis’ electric period as a framework for modern Jazz innovation.

The vision was simple: Miles Electric Band is a featured part of the Davis family’s plan to bring Miles Davis’ music to a new generation of music lovers through festival appearances and recordings.

The band brought their own unique stamp to Miles’ music. …At times, the pulsating music was atmospheric, and then it was potent funk. Other times, it was both. Propelled by bold soulful rhythms, the Miles Electric Band’s new interpretations of Miles Davis jazz-rock classics had an otherworldly quality.” – BAM Magazine

Who are the Miles Electric Band?

It’s important to recognise that the Miles Davis alumni who make up the band (brought together by Vince Wilburn, Jr. Davis’ nephew) are all hand-picked members, truly gifted, internationally recognised, GRAMMY award winning musicians, with most of them performing with Miles Davis at some stage of his music career.

We take a look a close look at the Miles Electiric Band members, their achievements and career trajectory, all reinforcing why this collaboration is a one-of-a-kind concert experience coming to Australia (for the first time) and therefore, is not to be missed in April 2017!

Vince Wilburn, Jr. (drummer + Davis’ nephew)

Grammy winner Vince Wilburn, Jr. is the son of Dorothy Mae Davis (1925-1996), Miles Davis' nephew, acclaimed drummer for The Miles Electic Band and also oversees Miles Davis Properties, LLC, along with Erin Davis (son of Miles) and Cheryl Davis (daughter of Miles).

He worked as both producer and sideman with his Uncle Miles in the 1980's. More recently he has been running the Miles Electric Band, and was also Executive Producer of the Don Cheadle biopic film "Miles Ahead".

He is currently assembling a full length hip-hop remix tribute to honor the classic recordings of Miles Davis. More recently, he co-produced the Miles Davis hip-hop, remix EP  'Evolution of the Groove' featuring Nas and Santana.

Check out the below interview with Vince. Find out how Vince’s career as a young boy was influenced when his Uncle Miles brought him a drum kit ( where it all started).

Vince and Erin Davs talking about the album ‘Bitches Brew’ (which Miles Electric Band will perform this April), it’s conception, it’s production and why it was a ground-breaking and forward thinking record.

 

Robert Irving III ( piano/keyboard)

Robert aka Baabe ( pronounced like Bobby) is a Grammy nominee American pianist, composer, arranger and music educator. Irving from the age of 26 (1979 – 1988), was part of Miles Davis’ touring band holding the keyboard chair and the role of musical director.

Irving remained with the Davis band until 1989, remaining close to Davis until Davis’ death in 1991.

Irving has produced five Grammy Award-nominated projects and has worked closely with such artists as Carlos Santana, Sting, Billy Joel, Roy Ayers + many more!

 

DeWayne "Blackbyrd" McKnight (guitar)

Blackbird McKnight is one of the greatest guitar players around” – George Clinton.

A world renowned electric guitarist and funk practitioner who has shared the stage and studio with legends the likes of Herbie Hancock. the Headhunters, George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic, Miles Davis and The Red Hot Chili Peppers + Shuggie Otis.

He grew up highly influenced by jazz from his father, which remains an integral part of his playing.

He was the musical director of George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic from 1980 to 2008.

Get ready to see Blackbyrd McKnight cut loose this Easter!

Munyungo Jackson (percussion)

Seasoned percussionist Darryl Munyungo Jackson was recommended by Miles's nephew Vince Wilburn Jr. Miles saw a video tape of Jackson playing with Zawinul and hired him.

He has performed with Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Herbie Hancock, The Temptations, The Supremes & dozens of others. 

Apparently “Jackson fitted well in the band and always seemed to enjoy himself on the bandstand. After playing with Miles, he was a much sought after percussionist, playing with artists such as Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and The Pointer Sisters”.

His most memorable musical experience: working with Miles Davis – a serious school!!

 

Darryl Jones (bass guitar)

Darryl Jones, provides the bass backbone for Miles Electric (also known as ‘Munch’ ) is widely recognised for his recordings with Miles Davis, Sting and two decades long tour duty for the Rolling Stones.

Here’s what he says about playing with the Miles Electric Band:

...when we go to the stage we take with us (those of us who played with him) all the knowledge, experience, desire and awareness of the approach to music he indoctrinated us into when he was there on the bandstand. Whenever I play this music, I take my memory of him into the music with me. It’s like he’s speaking into my inner ear. “Remember, what you don’t play is at least if not more important than what you do play.” “Don’t answer yourself. Leave that space for the music to live. To breathe. Within that space lies the realm of infinite possibility and therein lies the magic we seek.”

Keith Richards in the interview below calls Darryl “ a solid cat, an incredible musician”.

Here’s a snippet of Darryl Jones with words from Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Charlie Watts and others + the speaks about the moment Miles asked him to join his band.

 

Christian Scott (trumpet)

It’s been noted that finding a trumpeter to join the group was no small task, but when the Davis Estate heard Grammy winner Christian Scott play, they knew he was worthy.

Christian Scott has released seven critically acclaimed studio recordings and two live albums.

According to NPR, "Christian Scott ushers in new era of jazz". He has been heralded by JazzTimes magazine as "the Architect of a new commercially viable fusion" and "Jazz's young style God."

Since 2006, Christian has worked with McCoy Tyner, Prince, Marcus Miller, Eddie Palmieri, Mos Def (Yasin Bey), Thom Yorke and Solange Knowles, among other notable talents.

Here’s Christian performing at the Tiny Concert Desk!

 

Key additions to the Australian touring line up include and renowned programmer/re-mixer Jeremy Ellis, widely known for his work with The Roots, saxophonist Antoine Roney who has toured the world with jazz veterans Freddie Hubbard and Elvin Jones and accomplished world musician Debasish Chaudhauri on the tabla.

 

Miles Electric Band perform in Australia for the first time at Hamer Hall Melbourne (15th April) and at Bluesfest 2017 on Easter Monday ( Monday 17th April). Tickets can be purchased here ( Melbourne) and via www.bluesfest.com.au for their festival performances!


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