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The spirit of Miles Davis trumpets into Calgary

The Miles Davis Electric Band performs at the end of the month

Many of the Miles Davis Electric Band members performed with the icon during his prime.

Courtesy Arts Commons

Many of the Miles Davis Electric Band members performed with the icon during his prime.

Get your jazz hands up – the Miles Davis Electric Band, headed by Vince Wilburn Jr (the nephew of jazz icon Miles Davis) will be performing in Calgary on April 27, at the Arts Commons Jack Singer Concert Hall.

Q: What was Miles Davis like growing up?

A: First and foremost, it was always about the music. He sacrificed family, relationships. It was always about the music.

First one to wake up in the morning, last one to go to sleep at night. He brought the music forward, never looking back.

Q: How did that dedication influence you and your career?

A: I was like a sponge. Still, I fan out and I observe musicians and artists. His work ethic was what rubbed off on me. To give people something exciting and new, and keep pushing the music, you know.

Q: Miles Electric Band – it’s not just a cover band, it’s much more, right?

A: Definitely. It’s not a cover band, not a tribute band. It’s an interpretation of this great music recorded by my uncle, with our spin on it. The majority of the band worked with Miles – Darryl Jones, myself, Blackbyrd, Munyungo.

Q: What’s the atmosphere like at a typical Miles Electric Band show?

A: Man, you gotta come. Everybody gets something from it. And that’s a positive. A positive response.

Q: And how much fun do you have being on stage, playing?

A: Pshh. Come on man. Come on now. Pshh. We’re playing tomorrow night, I love it. I wish we were playing tonight. I can’t wait to get to Calgary. I’m sad we have three days off to go back to LA. I’d rather go from Hawaii to Calgary. I’m serious, you know?

Q: Finally, for young people who aren’t familiar with Miles, what would you say to get them to a show?

A: To come with an open heart and open ears. This is how you should approach music. Don’t limit yourself. When I was coming up, I listened to everything. Our bass player plays the Rolling Stones. Our percussionist plays Stevie Wonder. We all like Radio Head, Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar.

When you’re colouring and you got a crayon box, you don’t just use the one crayon, do you? When I was a kid, I wanted to big box of all the colour. We’re coming with a big crayon box, with all the colours baby.

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