The Touching Item That Miles Davis Was Reportedly Buried With

Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis earned the nickname "the Picasso of Jazz" for his ever innovative and experimental approach to his music. Born in 1926, he received a trumpet on his 13th birthday along with some lessons, according to The New York Times. Before long, Davis launched his career as a jazz performer, thriving for decades (via the official Miles Davis site). Davis died on December 28, 1991, and, as a tribute to this great artist, he was laid to rest with one of his favorite possessions: a custom-made trumpet.

Davis was particular about his trumpets. Just like another jazz great, Dizzy Gillispie, he favored the Committee model made by the Martin Company (via Christie's). When the Martin Company was sold to a rival in the 1960s, they stopped making the Committee trumpets, with one exception: The company agreed to keep making them for Davis. And the trumpet buried with Davis was especially important, as it was one of three trumpets made for him after a difficult time in his life.

Miles Davis' special instruments

By the mid-1970s, Davis was struggling physically and emotionally. He had battled exhaustion and drug addiction, and he faced a range of other health problems as well. All of these personal challenges led him to take a break from music for a few years. Davis later returned to performing, and he received a special set of three Committee trumpets around this time. According to Christie's, the instruments' designer, Larry Ramirez, delivered the first two trumpets to Davis personally while he was in Denver for a show.

Davis had each of the trumpets decorated with a moon and stars and his first name inscribed in them. He also wanted them in different colors: one black, one blue, and one red. After his death, Davis was buried with the black moon and stars trumpet at the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx in New York City (via Find a Grave). The red version of this instrument remains in the Davis family. The blue trumpet was later owned by musician George Benson, according to Architectural Digest. That trumpet was auctioned off in 2019, and it sold for $275,000, way above the estimated $70,000 value.