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Efforts Underway To Erect Statue Of Miles Davis In Alton

Plans are in motion to erect a bronze statue of jazz musician Miles Davis at his birthplace in Alton, Ill.  The city council of Alton gave its approval in July, and sculptor Preston Jackson has been commissioned to build the statue.

Jackson's design was selected out of a pool of ten. A professor emeritus from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Jackson is also a musician and lover of jazz music.

"I began playing jazz guitar at the age of fourteen," said Jackson. "Miles Davis was one of the fathers of bebop music, jazz. He was like a hero to me. We all wanted to speak like him, dress like him, and of course to play (like him)."

Pat Ackman and Karen Wilson with the Miles Davis Memorial Project said Jackson stood out as an entrant from the beginning, as much for his personality as his skills.

The Miles Davis Memorial Project is in the process of raising funds to pay for the statue and landscaping around it. Ackman and Wilson said the project is entirely reliant on private donations.

If enough money is raised, they would like to have the groundbreaking for the statue on the anniversary of the birth of Miles Davis, May 26. Donations to the project can be made at the Pride Incorporated website.


Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer, hosted by Steve Potter and sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission and the Arts and Education Council.