Reuben Jackson

Reuben Jackson.

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BRATTLEBORO — The Vermont Humanities Council season of lectures at Brooks Memorial Library 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, and is the author of two books of poetry — 1990’s “Fingering the Keys” and 2019’s “Scattered Clouds.” When not serving as co-host of WPFW’s The Sound Of Surprise, Jackson is working on a third book, tentatively entitled “Playing The French Horn.”

The First Wednesdays series includes in-person events in the fall and spring with virtual events in the winter.

Director of Programs Ryan Newswanger said of the new format: “Many of our attendees in recent years have told us they value viewing First Wednesdays talks from the comfort of their homes, especially during the winter months.”

The Brattleboro series is funded by the Friends of Brooks Memorial Library. The full schedule is available at:

The program is free of charge and open to the public.

The library is located at 224 Main St. For more information, visit or call 802-254-5290.