NYC-based drummer/composer/teacher Allison Miller engages her deep roots in improvisation as a vehicle to explore all music. Described by critics as a Modern Jazz Icon in the Making, Miller has been named “Top 20 Jazz Drummers” in Downbeat Magazine and her composition, Otis Was a Polar Bear, is on NPR’s list of The 200 Greatest Songs by 21st Century Women. Miller is Monterey Jazz Festival’s 2019 Artist in Residence, alongside bassist/producer Derrick Hodge. She is also the first recipient of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Commissioning Grant.
Miller’s band Boom Tic Boom, featuring pianist Myra Melford, violinist Jenny Scheinman, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, cornetist Kirk Knuffke, bassist Todd Sickafoose, and Miller on drums and composition, is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary with the release of their 5th album, Glitter Wolf. NPR’s Kevin Whitehead says, “All the parts fit together like clockwork on Allison Miller's new album Glitter Wolf.” Previous releases include 5am Stroll (2005), Boom Tic Boom (2010), Live at Willisau (2012), No Morphine No Lilies (2013), and Otis was a Polar Bear (2016).
Boom Tic Boom has been met with critical acclaim receiving 4.5 stars from Downbeat and making “Top 10 Jazz Albums” lists for Downbeat, The LA Times, Jazz Journalists Association, and Something Else. The band has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, WNYC’s Soundcheck and New Sounds with John Schaefer, NPR’s Tiny Desk with Bob Boilen, JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, The Checkout: Live with Josh Jackson, NPR’s Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride, and jazz festivals such as Monterey, Freihofer’s Saratoga, Stanford, San Francisco, North Sea, RockIt, Molde, Guimarães, Willisau, Chicago, Hyde Park, Saalfelden, Muenster, Iowa City, Reykjavik, Earshot, Mary Lou Williams- Kennedy Center, Edgefest, Mass Moca, Lugo, Pittsburgh, and Redwood Jazz Alliance.
While breaking from leading Boom Tic Boom, Miller focuses on collaborations, co-directing Parlour Game with Jenny Scheinman and Science Fair with Carmen Staaf. Science Fair’s debut release was included in the New York Times and L.A. Times “Best Jazz of 2018” list. Miller is also a proud member of the critically acclaimed supergroup Artemis, with Renee Rosnes, Cecile McClorin Salvant, Ingrid Jensen, Anat Cohen, Melissa Aldana, and Noriko Ueda. She is the musical director for Camille A. Brown’s Ink, Michelle Dorrance and the American Ballet Theater’s Dream Within A Dream, Speak with Rachna Nivas and Michelle Dorrance, and And Still You Must Swing with Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards.
As a side-musician, Miller has been the rhythmic force behind such mainstream artists as Ani DiFranco, Sara Bareilles, Natalie Merchant, Brandi Carlile, Toshi Reagon, the Meredith Vieira Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Pino Daniele, and Erin McKeown; and her jazz skills have been embraced by everyone from organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith and vocalist Patricia Barber to instrumental trailblazers such as Marty Ehrlich, Myra Melford, Steven Bernstein, Renee Rosnes and Ben Allison.
Miller is a three time Jazz Ambassador for the US State Department and has been appointed Arts Envoy to Thailand for her work with Jazz Education Abroad. She is on Yamaha’s Top 30 Clinicians List, conducting clinics and master classes throughout the world, and teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC, Stanford Jazz Workshop, and is the Artistic Director of Jazz Camp West. Her lessons and writings have been published in The Huffington Post, Modern Drummer, Jazz Times, DRUM, Tom Tom, and Drummer UK. Her instructional videos are produced and published by Reverb. In 2008 Miller founded the Walter Salb Memorial Musical Scholarship Foundation in honor of her late teacher and mentor. The foundation annually provides a monetary award to a promising young musician directed toward furthering their studies in music. Miller endorses Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Sunhouse percussion, and Evans drumheads.