First Wednesdays lecture series opens with Reuben Jackson’s take on Miles Davis

BRATTLEBORO — The Vermont Humanities Council's season of lectures at Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main Street, begins Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m., with Reuben Jackson presenting “The Electric Period of Miles Davis.”

Davis once observed, “I have to change. It's like a curse.” The ever-changing music that he recorded from 1969 to 1975 angered and bewildered many critics and fans, who accused the trumpeter of “selling out.” Jazz archivist and poet Reuben Jackson shares how recordings from Davis' Electric Period - including 1974's Get Up With It - prove otherwise.

Jackson is the archivist with the University of The District of Columbia's Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives. For 20 years, he was archivist and curator with the Smithsonian Institution's Duke Ellington Collection. He was also host of Vermont Public Radio's Friday Night Jazz from 2012 until 2018.

His music reviews have appeared in The Washington Post, Jazziz, Jazz Times, and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. He is also the author of two books of poetry. When not serving as co-host of WPFW's The Sound of Surprise, Jackson is working on a third book, tentatively titled Playing the French Horn.

The First Wednesdays series includes in-person events in fall and spring with virtual events in the winter. The series is free and funded by the Friends of Brooks Memorial Library. The full schedule is available at

The venue is accessible. For more information, visit or call 802-254-5290.

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