What Disease Did ‘Ron Miles’ Have? Jazz Artist Passed Away

Ron Miles, a jazz great who lived in Denver, passed away on March 8. Hans Wendl, his manager and producer, confirmed his death, according to a Blue Note Records news release, adding that the musician died of complications caused by a rare blood disorder. The musician was 58 years old.

Ron Miles was a gifted artist, said Blue Note President Don Was. “He was a sweet, soulful man whose character was reflected in every exquisite note he played.” 

What is Polycythemia Vera?

A type of blood cancer characterized by an abundance of red blood cells in the bone marrow, polycythemia vera. Having too many cells thickens the blood, which slows the flow, causing serious problems including blood clots.

Most cases of the disease are rare and develop slowly. Patients might have it for years before their condition is discovered. Most often, the disease is discovered when a blood test is performed for another reason.

These conditions are accompanied by headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and blurred vision. In addition to these symptoms, there are others such as itching after a bath, numbness, tingling, burning. Or even weakness in the hands, feet, arms, and legs, unusual bleeding, such as nosebleeds or bleeding gums, painful swelling of one joint, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing when lying down.

It occurs when a gene mutation interferes with the production of blood cells. The bone marrow normally produces only three types of blood cells in the human body, however, in polycythemia vera, excessive amounts of some of those blood cells are produced.

All we know about Ron Miles

Ron Miles was born May 9, 1963, in Indianapolis and studied both classical and jazz music soon after relocating with his family to Denver early in the 1970s. He studied music at the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Denver, and the University of Colorado Boulder.

1987 marked the release of his debut album, “Distance for Safety.” In 2020, Miles recorded his first Blue Note album, “Rainbow Sign.”

The record was a tribute to his father, Fay Dooney Miles, who passed away in 2018. Bill Frisell was joined on the recording by Jason Moran, Thomas Morgan, Brian Blade, and bassist Thomas Morgan.

Additionally, Ron Miles was an educator at the Metropolitan State University of Denver and was a professor of music there. A prolific recording artist, he has recorded for such labels as Prolific, Capri, Gramavision, and others. As a sideman, he graced several LPs with his melodic coronet alongside Bill Frisell, Joshua Redman, Mercer Ellington, Madeleine Peyroux, and others.

He is survived by his wife Kari Miles, his son Honor Miles, and two daughters, Justice Miles and Justice-Cohen, mother Jane Miles, and two sisters Shari Miles-Cohen and Kelly West, as well as his half-sister Vicki M. Brown.

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