Age, Biography and Wiki

Milford Graves (Milford Robert Graves) was born on 20 August, 1941 in Jamaica, New York, NY, is a Jazz drummer and percussionist. Discover Milford Graves's Biography, Age, Height, Physical Stats, Dating/Affairs, Family and career updates. Learn How rich is He in this year and how He spends money? Also learn how He earned most of Milford Graves networth?

Popular As Milford Robert Graves
Occupation composer,actor,writer
Age 80 years old
Zodiac Sign Leo
Born 20 August 1941
Birthday 20 August
Birthplace Jamaica, New York, NY
Date of death February 12, 2021
Died Place N/A
Nationality NY

We recommend you to check the complete list of Famous People born on 20 August. He is a member of famous Composer with the age 80 years old group.

Milford Graves Height, Weight & Measurements

At 80 years old, Milford Graves height not available right now. We will update Milford Graves's Height, weight, Body Measurements, Eye Color, Hair Color, Shoe & Dress size soon as possible.

Physical Status
Height Not Available
Weight Not Available
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Who Is Milford Graves's Wife?

His wife is Lois (? - 12 February 2021) ( his death) ( 5 children)

Parents Not Available
Wife Lois (? - 12 February 2021) ( his death) ( 5 children)
Sibling Not Available
Children Not Available

Milford Graves Net Worth

His net worth has been growing significantly in 2020-2021. So, how much is Milford Graves worth at the age of 80 years old? Milford Graves’s income source is mostly from being a successful Composer. He is from NY. We have estimated Milford Graves's net worth, money, salary, income, and assets.

Net Worth in 2021 $1 Million - $5 Million
Salary in 2020 Under Review
Net Worth in 2019 Pending
Salary in 2019 Under Review
House Not Available
Cars Not Available
Source of Income Composer

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Graves believed that "most drummers are over-occupied with the playing of rhythms and insufficiently with the actual sound," and that it is "important for drummers to study the actual membrane, to try for different sounds or a different feeling by playing on every part of the skin and not merely the same area over and over again..." He stated that "[i]f you know how to manipulate your skins, you can make that dispersed sound - slides, portamento style, sustained tone. Instead of letting your stick free rebound, you can mute it, slide it on there. It calls for greater physicality." Graves told Aakash Mittal: "when I play, I do more than vertical strokes. I’m not just bah-bop bah-bop. My thing is moving around, touching the skins, knowing about momentum and position at the same time." In an interview with Paul Burwell, Graves stated: "I relate the drum skin to a body of water... As a musician, you are schooling yourself to deal with some of the most sensitive things in the universe: emotion, frequency, life, the vital force... we're involved with one of the most subtle things in life. Sounds - that's it!"


Graves also painted artwork for some of his albums, and later exhibited sculptures which tie together his interests in music and martial arts, writing: "I've been thinking about sculpture as a teaching tool. There's a saying I used to always hear: 'sculpture is frozen music.' I want something with some kind of movement to it. I'm adding elements that are not static, like transducers. I also use my years and years of experience in music and my training in martial arts to understand sculpture. There were movements I used to do that would be very quiet, maybe something from aikido or tai chi. Very slow, very slow... then all of a sudden you would burst out with this explosive, passive-aggressive energy. I wondered how I would put that into a piece of sculpture. I thought the explosion would be to put together some unorthodox elements and have contradictions set in. If a person were to look at it, it would provoke a kind of psychological motion inside of them." Graves' 2017 exhibit at The Artist’s Institute at Hunter College tied together his interests in music and acupuncture, "establishing an energetic connection between music and the natural rhythms of the body." A 2020-2021 exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, PA entitled Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal showcased "a collection of Graves' hand-painted album covers and posters, idiosyncratic drum sets, multimedia sculptures, photographs, and costumes, with elements from his home, scientific studies, recording ephemera, and archival recordings, as well as space for performance and a reading room."


Aakash Mittal noted the connections between Graves' martial arts activities and his music, writing: "the kinetic motion of yara can be applied with sticks in hand to a cymbal, creating a sonification of the martial arts form itself." Graves explained: "When I would spar, I'd sing on people! Put them to sleep. Just like on the trap set, one hand goes this way, the other that way. They never knew what was coming..." "I would get down to my drum set and I'd go — ting-raww—frapt! — I would keep that whole flow and go around. If I was doing a sword technique, I would practice my sword stuff and with the strokes like — thwap!... There I would exchange a stick, so if I'm hitting down here — pop! — and hitting the cymbal — shhhap!... I was directing the energy in a very precise, meaningful way, so they helped each other out. I would hit the sound and just get it, make it go like — rat-a-tat-a-rot-a-toko!"


Graves was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition in 2000, and in 2015 he received a Doris Duke Foundation Impact Award.


In the years that followed, Graves toured and recorded in a quartet setting with drummers Cyrille, Kenny Clarke, and Famoudou Don Moye, recorded a duo album with David Murray, and performed and recorded with the New York Art Quartet in celebration of their 35th anniversary. He also recorded two solo albums, Grand Unification (1998) and Stories (2000), as well as albums with John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, William Parker, and Bill Laswell. In 2008 and 2012, Graves performed with Lou Reed. In 2017, Graves played on Sam Amidon's album The Following Mountain. 2018 saw Graves performing with bassist Shahzad Ismaily, as well as the release of the documentary Milford Graves Full Mantis, directed by Graves's former student, Jake Meginsky, along with Neil Cloaca Young. In 2019, Graves played in a duo setting with pianist Jason Moran. Alice in Chains vocalist William DuVall also directed a documentary about Graves titled Ancient to Future: The Wisdom of Milford Graves. However, the film has been in post-production status since 2013 and has not been released as of 2020.


Many of Graves' interests revolved around what he called "biological music, a synthesis of the physical and mental, a mind-body deal." One example is "Yara," a form of martial art that Graves, a former Police Athletic League boxing champ, invented in the early 1970s, and that is "spontaneous improvised, and... reacting according to that particular situation," based on "the movements of the Praying Mantis, African ritual dance, and Lindy Hop." (According to Graves, Yara means "nimbleness" in the Yoruba language.) Graves stated that certain aspects of Yara came about as a result of inquiries into the history of martial arts having led him to its roots in nature: "What is martial arts? What's Kung Fu? Where did it come from...? I started reading books on Chinese martial arts, the history of this art... There was many times... when I was reading about this so called grandmaster - he'd be up in the mountains meditating, and he saw this and he saw that. I said, 'wow - I could do the same thing, man. I'll just go out in nature 'cause that's where they got it from...' So I went to the best teacher. I went to the praying mantis himself... It goes back to hanging out with nature." Graves taught Yara at his home for over thirty years, with sparring sessions that were "hours long and full-contact."


Graves joined Albert Ayler's band in 1967, replacing Beaver Harris. The group performed at Slugs' Saloon, at the Newport Jazz Festival, and, on July 21, at John Coltrane's funeral. (Recordings of this performance were released in 2004 on the compilation Holy Ghost.) Later that year, the group recorded Love Cry. Graves left Ayler's band when Impulse! began pushing Ayler in a more commercial direction.


In 1965, Graves continued to expand his horizons, studying the tabla with Wasantha Singh and recording with Miriam Makeba on Makeba Sings!. He also recorded and released a percussion album titled Percussion Ensemble, which featured drummer Sonny Morgan. Val Wilmer wrote that the recording "remains just about the most brilliantly conceived and executed percussion album to date." That year, Graves also recorded on the New York Art Quartet's second album Mohawk, on Montego Joe's second album, Wild & Warm, on Lowell Davidson's sole release, and on a second album with Giuseppi Logan, again working with Don Pullen. Graves and Pullen soon formed a duo, and in 1966 they recorded and released In Concert at Yale University, followed by Nommo, on their SRP ("Self Reliance Project") label.


During a visit to New York in 1964, Logan introduced Graves to trombonist Roswell Rudd and saxophonist John Tchicai. Graves "wound up playing with them for half an hour, astonishing Rudd and Tchicai, who promptly invited him to join what became The New York Art Quartet." Rudd recalled that Graves's "playing was like an anti-gravity vortex, in which you could either float or fly depending on your impulse." According to Tchicai, "Graves simply baffled both Rudd and I in that, at that time, we hadn't heard anybody of the younger musicians in New York that had the same sense of rhythmic cohesion in polyrhythms or the same sense of intensity and musicality." Tchicai also stated that Don Moore, the original New York Art Quartet bassist, "became so frightened of this wizard of a percussionist that he decided that this couldn't be true or possible and therefore refused to play with us."


In 1962, Graves heard the John Coltrane quartet with Elvin Jones, whose drumming made a strong impression. The following year, Graves acquired a standard drum set from pianist Hal Galper and began using it regularly. That summer, percussionist Don Alias invited Graves to Boston for a residency, and Graves began playing with saxophonist Giuseppi Logan.


Graves recorded Black Woman with Sonny Sharrock in the late 1960s and began playing with drummers Andrew Cyrille and Rashied Ali on a series of concerts titled "Dialogue of the Drums." Graves and Cyrille also recorded and released an album without Ali and with the title "Dialogue of the Drums" in 1974. During this time, Graves studied to become a medical technician and managed a lab for a veterinarian. In 1973, Bill Dixon helped secure Graves a teaching position at Bennington College, where Graves taught until 2012. (Dixon had previously brought Jimmy Lyons, Jimmy Garrison, Alan Shorter, and Alan Silva to Bennington.) In 1977, Graves released two albums under his own name: Bäbi, which featured reed players Arthur Doyle and Hugh Glover, and Meditation Among Us, with a Japanese jazz quartet composed of Kaoru Abe, Toshinori Kondo, Mototeru Takagi, and Toshiyuki Tsuchitori. During the early 1980s, Graves also began working with dancer Min Tanaka.


Milford Graves was born on August 20, 1941 in Queens, New York City, New York, USA as Milford Robert Graves.