When the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) pulls into San Fernando Hill this Saturday, April 15 to screen Miles Ahead, about famed jazz musician Miles Davis, you can expect one heck of a ride.
This is, after all, a focus on the heydey of jazz – with its wild parties, fights, infidelity, copious sex and drugs, but most of all – wonderful music made by troubled, yet talented, geniuses.
The movie is being screened as part of the ttff’s Community Cinergy Series – a free outdoor cinema experience, sponsored by bpTT.
Acclaimed around the world for his musical genius and innovation, Miles Davis (1926 – 1991) was at the forefront of a number of major stylistic developments in jazz over his five-decade career, and is considered to be among the most influential and celebrated figures in the history of jazz.
Born into an affluent middle-class African-American family, his father, Miles Dewey Davis II, was a successful dental surgeon, and his mother Cleota Mae, a music teacher and violinist. They owned a 200-acre estate and a profitable pig farm where Davis and his siblings rode horses, fished, and hunted. His later music career would seem far removed from this childhood idyll and become marked by hard times, controversy and drug addiction. Indeed, by his own account, Davis was at one point snorting four or five grams of coke a day, while also smoking four packs of cigarettes – a practice that would wreck havoc on his voice and his health.