Miles Davis, 2022
Bernard Pras 

Can you imagine seeing arguably the most influential jazz musician of all time at Merriweather Post Pavilion? Almost 50 years ago on August 2, 1973, trumpeter Miles Davis graced our stage with blues legend Muddy Waters for an unforgettable night. 

Davis was enamored with music from a young age and even received his first trumpet from a family friend at just nine years old. His affinity and sheer talent led him to attending Juilliard School of Music in 1944, which he eventually abandoned in favor of performing full-time. It didn’t take long for Davis to link up with fellow jazz greats such as Charlie Parker and cement his status in the genre with albums like The New Sounds.

Fast forward to Davis’ 1973 Merriweather show, which saw him emerging from the culturally tumultuous ‘60s and entering the height of his success. He toyed with the size of his band and experimented with the style of music that he played, exploring rock, funk, African rhythms, electronic music, and more. Every move seemed to only deepen his influence and popularity, further securing his place on the Mount Rushmore of jazz musicians. 

Davis is remembered in Rolling Stone as “the most revered jazz trumpeter of all time” who left an indelible mark on anyone he touched with his music. For these reasons and more, Davis is one of the three iconic artists to be enshrined at Merriweather through the stellar work of Bernard Pras.

MEET THE ARTIST:

Consul General of France, François Penguilly said, “Monsieur Pras started his brilliant career after Here at Merriweather, we love art and all things eco-friendly, so we jumped at the opportunity to feature the work of Bernard Pras at the Pavilion. An anamorphic sculptor whose work is made entirely out of found objects and recycled items, Pras proves that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

For these sculptures of Robert Plant, Miles Davis, and Dolly Parton, Pras gathered materials from Howard County Alfa Ridge landfill and local thrift stores, and included elements donated by Columbia’s music schools. Merriweather’s longstanding focus on sustainability meshes beautifully with Pras’ art in these displays.

At the sculpture reveal in 2022, Consul General of France, François Penguilly said, “Each detail of Bernard Pras’s works is an invitation to a poetic exploration where one wonders about the history of the object and its possible connections with the work represented. One could spend hours gazing at each portrait, identifying all the little bits and pieces that make up a portrait subject’s facial features, hair, body, and clothing.”

Born in 1952 in Roumazières, France, Pras trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse where he became inspired by Salvador Dali, Edvard Munch, Hiroshige, and Giuseppe Arcimboldo. A painter, sculptor, and photographer, Pras lives and works in Montreuil, near Paris.

Click here to be amazed.