The Legendary Miles Davis

*From April 30 to August 29, 2010, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is innovating once again with the presentation of the first major North American multimedia retrospective dedicated to jazz legend Miles Davis (1926-1991).

“We Want Miles”: Miles Davis vs.Jazz will combine image and sound to offer visitors a sensory experience inspired by Miles Davis himself: “A painting is music you can see, and music is a painting you can hear.”

This exhibition was designed and organized by the Cité de la musique, Paris, with the support of Miles Davis Properties, LLC, in collaboration with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

The exhibition-performance, which ran in France until last January, is divided into eight thematic and chronological periods, each covering in the life and work of Miles Davis and highlighting his strong influence on other art forms.

Each period, from his birth to his last major concert in Paris shortly before his death in 1991, is presented by a wide array of forms: previously unscreened or rare film footage, handwritten scores, instruments, original documents relating to his records, costumes and vintage pressings of his records. In addition, twenty listening stations will permit visitors to immerse themselves, as though in a recording studio, in the multiple musical currents reinvented by Miles Davis: jazz, funk, rock, bebop, etc.

Many photographs taken by the big names in photography will be shown publicly for the first time, along with drawings and paintings by Miles Davis and works by painters Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mati Klarwein and sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle. Lastly, exclusive pieces provided by the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (FIJM) will evoke the artist’s memorable concerts. The FIJM is also an important partner in this event.

“As demonstrated with Warhol Live and Imagine, we wish to present retrospectives such as these, which explore the connections between the visual arts and music,” explained Museum Director Nathalie Bondil. “With ‘We Want Miles’, art lovers and music fans alike will be fascinated by the universe of this legendary figure who transcends time.”

“‘We Want Miles’,” adds André Ménard, co-founder of the FIJM and author of one of the exhibition catalogue’s forewords, “is, in a manner of speaking, the unexpected return to our city of one of the major artistic figures of the twentieth century for those who, like me, got off on his music and on
seeing him on stage. This magical exhibition will definitely bring those precious moments alive, as well as revealing a thousand and one things about the world of Miles Davis.”  

The exhibition “We Want Miles” is presented by Sun Life Financial in collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts:



Karen Sundell
Rogers & Cowan
[email protected]