Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool 60th Anniversary

The Birth of the Cool was released in mid-February 1957 as a compilation LP by Capitol Records. the selections come from recordings made by Miles Davis, Max Roach, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz and others in 1949-50. While these tracks had been previously issued as 78 rpm singles, the LP release gave a name to a movement of young musicians who were playing this new "cool" style of bebop, launching the careers of Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz and John Lewis. The arrangements themselves represent an early collaboration of Miles Davis with arranger Gil Evans. The pair would later create Miles Ahead, Sketches of Spain and many of the most iconic recordings of Davis' career.

"Those slow things sounded strange and good. I didn't always know what they were doing, but I listened, and I liked it." - Count Basie on hearing the group open for him at the Royal Roost.

The band for this presentation at the American Jazz Museum includes:

  • Hermon Mehari - trumpet
  • Marcus Lewis - trombone
  • Forest Stewart - horn
  • Bill McKemy - tuba
  • Dan Thomas - alto sax
  • Todd Wilkinson - bari sax
  • Phil Dunlap - piano
  • Jeff Harshbarger - bass
  • Todd Strait - drums

Pianist Phil Dunlap will give a talk on the History of Birth of the Cool during the program.

Student tickets ($5) are available at the door with student ID. Teachers may contact Bill McKemy for a coupon code to distribute.

Reception opens at 6 pm, Program begins at 6:30 pm.

The Jazz Speaker Series at the American Jazz Museum brings top scholars and authors to speak on the history of the music.




American Jazz Museum


Gem Theater
1615 E 18th St
Kansas City, MO 64108
United States