Miles Davis Biographer Visits Detroit to Talk About Jazz Legend’s Life

Miles Davis “loved Detroit,” says author Quincy Troupe.

Jake Neher/WDET

Published in 1990, the autobiography of jazz legend Miles Davis, Miles, has become one of the defining works about that era of jazz music. It explores topics ranging from Davis’ five-year silence, his struggle with drug addiction, and the racism he faced in the music business and as a black man in the United States. 

The co-author of the book, Quincy Troupe, speaks with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson about writing the book, the time Davis spent in Detroit, and about the legacy of the jazz great. 

Melba Boyd, distinguished professor of African-American studies at Wayne State University, also joins the show. 

Troupe recalls working on the book and talking with Miles about the time he spent in Detroit.

“(Miles) came (to Detroit)…trying to get himself together,” says Troupe.

“He had a number of friends here and he could hang out and be himself and all that. So he just loved Detroit.” 

Tonight at 6 p.m., Troupe will speak at the Charles H. Wright Museum as a part of the Liberation Film Series, presented in partnership with Wayne State University and the Detroit Institute of Arts. At the event, Troupe will show a rare video of himself and Davis together. 

Click on the audio player above for the full conversation. 


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    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.