For more than three decades, New York jazz drummer, composer, bandleader and teacher Allison Miller has been merrily improvising her way into new musical genres and projects. Miller, whom the DownBeat Magazine Critics' Poll named "Rising Star Drummer" and "Top 20 Jazz Drummer," is the driving force behind albums by Natalie Merchant, Brandi Carlile, Ani DiFranco, Joey Arias, Pino Daniele, Erin McKeown and many others.
Miller's own band, Boom Tic Boom, features pianist Myra Melford, violinist Jenny Scheinman, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, cornet player Kirk Knuffke, bassist Todd Sickafoose, and Miller on drums and composition.
She's also a three-time Jazz Ambassador of the U.S. State Department and is on Yamaha’s Top 30 Clinicians List, conducting clinics and master classes throughout the world and teaching at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Stanford Jazz Workshop, and Jazz Camp West.
Miller breaks through genre and gender stereotypes with equal gusto. There's no telling how many young female drummers and percussionists she has inspired through her work, but they're sure to resonate with this eight-year-old Japanese drummer's take on a Led Zeppelin classic.
"I try to not let the b-o-r-e-d word enter into my life. If I do find myself leaning toward that five letter word, I change the situation, y’know what I mean? Because life is too short."
You won't be b-o-r-e-d. Listen to Allison Miller on this episode of "Musician's Spotlight."