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Miles Davis Musical Director Plays in the Quad Cities PDF Print E-mail
Music - Feature Stories
Wednesday, 14 February 2007 02:43

Robert Irving III Keyboardist Robert Irving III, Miles Davis' musical director for most of the 1980s, will be performing a concert and leading a workshop on Sunday, February 18, at Davenport's River Music Experience.

Both the workshop and evening performance - organized by Polyrhythms - will feature Irving with saxophonist James Perkins, drummer Ernie Adams, and bassist Marlene Rosenberg.

Irving spent eight years as Davis' musical director in the 1980s, and his talents extend far beyond playing. He's written scores for film and television and produced albums (including several with Davis), and he's also a journalist and a visual artist who's exhibited in Chicago, New York, and France. He has worked with artists such as Ramsey Lewis, David Murray, Dianne Reeves, Buster Williams, Regina Carter, Wallace Roney, Wayne Shorter, Carlos Santana, Grover Washington Jr., and Terri Lyne Carrington.

Irving's newest recording, the mostly acoustic New Momentum, features a jazz trio and will be released on March 20.

After playing on Davis' comeback album The Man with the Horn in 1981, Irving studied in Chicago with the stride pianist/composer Little Brother Montgomery as the musical director and pianist for Little Dreamer: A Nite in the Life of Bessie Smith, for which Montgomery had written the music.

He then produced two Davis albums and also wrote the score for the 1987 movie Street Smart, which starred Christopher Reeve and got Morgan Freeman a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.

The Chicago-based Irving released his solo debut, Midnight Dream, in the late 1980s but has generally focused his career on producing and arranging the work of others. But he has said that he always accepts acoustic gigs, which led to him recording New Momentum.


Robert Irving III will perform at 6 p.m. on Sunday, February 18, at the Redstone Room in downtown Davenport. Tickets are $10.


Irving will also conduct a workshop focusing on the role of piano in jazz at 3 p.m. in Mojo's. Admission is $3 for students and $5 for adults.


For more information on Irving, visit (

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