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Drawings and dedications by Miles Davis and Mikel Elam (1989)

Drawings and dedications by Miles Davis and Mikel Elam (1989)

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> This item is out of the catalogue, see available documents here <

In 1989, trumpeter Miles Davis expresses his (other) talent on the menu of a prestigious French restaurant.

Miles Davis pencil drawing, inside a menu at La Pyramide restaurant, during the Vienne Jazz Festival, in France. On the last page of the menu is another graphic dedication made by the artist Mikel Elam who accompanied Miles Davis during his tours. 6 pages. In French. 21cm x 29.5cm. Vienne (France), June 30, 1989. Excellent condition. Single piece.

Miles Davis (1926 - 1991) started playing the trumpet at age thirteen and has never stopped. Responsible for many evolutions in jazz and for the discovery of many new talents, his musical genius marked the history of jazz and music in the 20th century. He was also one of the first black musicians known and accepted by the American middle class.

The Vienne Jazz Festival, created in 1981, quickly became a meeting point for the best musicians in the world: Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, Eric Clapton, etc. La Pyramide, one of the most prestigious French restaurants, was the place where the festival's musicians used to dine and stay. After being sold to a real estate group, La Pyramide reopened in 1989 with a special dinner honoring the illustrious Miles Davis. It was during this special night that he drew on this menu.

Festival creator Jean-Paul Boutellier explains why Miles Davis was important for the event:

Miles Davis really impacted the festival. First, because it had an incredible effect on the public. But also because he liked the place. He liked the festival, he liked the friendliness of the organizers and the spectators, the La Pyramide hotel... He gave legendary shows, like when he played the whole show in the rain to interact with the public, it was fabulous!

Mikel Elam, now a renowned painter represented by gallery owner Charles Saatchi, signed the last part of the document that same night:

One day something magical happens. I became an assistant to the legendary jazz musician Miles Davis. I traveled the world with him as his personal assistant for five years. In the midst of all this, I stopped making art. I was consumed by this new life. She dominated. The beauty of my new job was helping Miles achieve his goals of becoming a painter. He would literally draw and paint every day, on the road and at home. I would help him buy his supplies and get him ready to paint after his performances. Sometimes he would start work at two in the morning after a presentation. It was Miles who brought me back to art. He insisted that I do art again. I resisted at first because I thought I wouldn't be able, due to the constant change, to create something worthy. What I found was that with practice and focus I could create on the road. The world has become my studio. These are the influences observed in my work. It is the influence of the rhythm of the world. It's a hybrid juxtaposition of influences from across the globe. Miles eventually became a collector of my work.

Just two years before the death of the legendary trumpeter, this unpublished document reveals in a very original way another talent of the artist, drawing, developed with his friend Mikel Elam and generally unknown to the public.

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