She is a multi-talented drummer who has made a name for herself in the jazz industry, an industry where it’s male-dominated. Not only as a drummer, but Allison Miller was also admired as a teacher and songwriter.
Allison’s performances are famous for their entertaining and unique aspects. The fact that she began to play drums when she was still ten proves that she’s a natural-born musician and one of the best female drummers in the industry.
Allison Miller’s Early Life
Allison Miller was born in the 1970s and raised in Washington, D.C. She was born to a musician’s family from the maternal side.
Her grandmothers were professional organists and singers, while her mother was a classical pianist. She has loved music since she was a child, so began playing drums at an early age.
To pursue her dream in the music world, she studied music at West Virginia University. She graduated from the university with a bachelor’s degree in 1996.
After graduating, She moved to New York City and reached her dream of playing jazz professionally. In New York City, she studied with Michael Carvin and Lenny White to have a great career as a freelance drummer, composer, producer, and teacher.
Career as Drummer, Composer, and Teacher
As a drummer, she has performed with various legend and avant-garde musicians such as Sara Bareilles, Ben Allison, Ani DiFranco, Natalie Merchant, Brandi Carlile, Indigo Girls, Toshi Reagon, Patricia Barber, Marty Ehrlich, Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Miller also played with some big musicians in jazz, like Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, and Pat Metheny.
She also works with bands. In fact, she was making her own band, namely Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom. Miller is also included in the band Honey Ear Trio with Rene Hart and Erik Lawrence, Holler and Bam with Toshi Reagon.
As for her discography, she has recorded six albums as a leader. Those are Boom Tic Boom, 5 AM Stroll, Live at Willisau, Otis Was a Polar Bear, Glitter Wolf, and No Morphine-No Lilies. Her two albums under her own name, “The Thief” and “Boom Tic Boom” were appreciated by the critics. Moreover, “Boom Tic Boom” was named one of the best jazz albums of 2012 by The New York Times.
Just what it said in the title, she’s a multi-talented person. Her career in teaching is also thriving.
Miller is a teacher at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (Melba Liston Fellow), Stanford Jazz Workshop, Centrum, and Geri Allen Jazz Camp. She’s also the Artistic Director of Jazz Camp West.
Respected in Jazz Industry
Miller is well-respected in the jazz industry. In fact, she’s the three-time Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department and also Monterey Jazz Festival’s 2019 Artist in Residence, alongside bassist/producer Derrick Hodge.
Her band, Boom Tic Boom, is also gaining many achievements in jazz. Other than the “Boom Tic Boom” album which was named the best album by The New York Times, Glitter Wolf (their newest album with Miller as the leader) was also included in many music magazines as the “Best Jazz of 2019”. It was listed in NPR, Rolling Stone, and Jazz Times.