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Denver-based jazz musician Ron Miles dies at 58

Miles was known as one of the finest composers and improvisers of his generation.

DENVER — Legendary Denver-based jazz musician Ron Miles has died at age 58. 

A highly-esteemed jazz trumpet and cornet player, Miles was born in Indianapolis and moved to Denver with his family at age 11, his label Blue Note Records said. He earned degrees in music from the University of Denver and the Manhattan School of Music. 

Miles served as a professor of music and musician in residence at Metropolitan State University of Denver starting in the 1990s. He toured the country playing jazz and made a dozen albums over 35 years. He received a Grammy nomination for his performance on Joshua Redman’s 2018 album "Still Dreaming."

His final album was his Blue Note Records debut, "Rainbow Sign," which was released in 2020 and featured a quintet with some of his most frequent collaborators.

Blue Note Records said Miles died of the rare blood disorder polycythemia vera, and that he had been in and out of the hospital since December. He died at his home in Denver. 

“Ron was such a gifted artist,” Blue Note President Don Was said in a release. “He was a sweet, soulful man whose character was reflected in every exquisite note he played. We are heartbroken to lose him so soon, but he will live forever through the music he’s left behind for us.”

Miles is survived by his wife Kari Miles, daughter Justice Miles, son Honor Miles, mother Jane Miles, brother Johnathan Miles, sisters Shari Miles-Cohen and Kelly West and half-sister Vicki M. Brown.

> Video from 2020: Acclaimed jazz musician loves calling Denver home

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