New York City Street Officially Renamed 'Miles Davis Way' - The New York Times

For about 25 years, until the mid-1980s, Miles Davis, the legendary jazz trumpeter who died in 1991, lived in an apartment building at 312 West 77th Street, where he enjoyed a well-established New York City tradition: loitering outside on the stoop, greeting passers-by and chatting with neighbors.

“He interacted with the community on the street,” said, Shirley Zafirau, a neighbor of Davis, who still lives on the block. “He really liked being here.”

Ms. Zafirau believed that Davis’s long tenure on the block deserved to be memorialized and so embarked on a campaign to have the block renamed after him. ...Her effort finally bore fruit when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed a bill on Tuesday officially renaming West 77th Street between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue as “Miles Davis Way.”

...“It’s a great honor for my uncle,” said Vince Wilburn Jr., a nephew of Davis. “The family is very excited about it.”

Mr. Wilburn, a drummer and music producer who divides his time between Los Angeles and New York, fondly recalled spending summers with his uncle at the brownstone as a child in the 1970s.

“People used to come by all the time,” he said, mentioning jazz legends like Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey and Tony Williams, who rented an apartment in the building, which is where Davis created the music for celebrated albums such as “Kind of Blue” and “Bitches Brew.”

Read more at The New York Times.

Shirley Zafirau at West 77th Street Miles Davis Way

Shirley Zafirau underneath the sign on West 77th Street that will be renamed “Miles Davis Way.”
Photo credit: Emon Hassan for The New York Times

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