Allison Miller

Allison Miller's Biography

NYC-based drummer Allison Miller defies all boundaries. She brings her individual sound and energy to diverse types of music while preserving their stylistic authenticity. Allison easily goes from playing with pop legend Natalie Merchant to touring Europe with avant-garde saxophonist Marty Ehrlich and legendary organist Doctor Lonnie Smith. She approaches each of these musical situations with her own stylistic identity and a creative, fresh and energetic approach.

Allison is currently dividing her time among many exciting projects. While on the west coast, she is collaborating with pianist Taylor Eigsti and bassist Jon Evans. This trio, named TILT, is developing into an exciting and fresh unit. She also continues to celebrate her debut release as a bandleader: 5 a.m. Stroll on Foxhaven Records. This critically acclaimed album features Boom Tic Boom, the masterful Ray Drummond (bass), Steve Wilson (alto saxophone and alto flute), Virginia Mayhew (tenor saxophone) and Bruce Barth (piano). Together they join Allison in representing eight beautiful renditions of her own original compositions.

Allison is also involved in a project called Agrazing Maze. Agrazing Maze is comprised of Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), Enrique Haneine (piano), Carlo DeRosa (bass) and Allison on drums. These four exciting, emerging musicians create, compose and improvise as a whole – creating unique compositions and a distinct band sound. Their new album, At the End of the Day, was released on Foxhaven Records in November of 2005. Agrazing Maze was also recently featured at the Kennedy Center's 2005 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

While working on the the aforementioned projects, Allison still allows time to be an active member in Marty Ehrlich's Sextet, The Natalie Merchant Band, Doctor Lonnie Smith and the Kitty Margolis backing trio.

Allison began playing the drums at age 10 and never turned back. She quickly began studying with a top teacher in the DC area Walter Salb. In 1991 she was featured in Downbeat magazine's "Up and Coming" spotlight. Soon she was playing in clubs in Washington DC and eventually continued her passion for music by receiving a Bachelor of Music Performance degree at West Virginia University. After graduating summa cum laude in 1996, she moved to NYC to begin her career as a freelance drummer and continue her studies with the great Michael Carvin.

Allison has performed and recorded with Natalie Merchant, Pino Daniele, Kenny Barron, Norah Jones, Doctor Lonnie Smith, Steven Bernstein, Ray Drummond, Sheila Jordan, Marty Ehrlich, George Garzone, Kitty Margolis, Michael Fienstein, Shahin Novrasli, Toshi Reagon, Mike Stern, Rachel Z, Kevin Mahogany, Ingrid Jensen, Paul Bollenback, Barbara Dennerlein, Mimi Fox, John McNeil, Virginia Mayhew, Bruce Barth, Mark Soskin, Harvie S, poet sensation Alix Olsen and the band Betty. Allison's drumming and composing have also been featured on the Showtime hit series The L Word. In addition, Allison has been chosen by the U.S. State Department to tour East Africa, Eurasia and Southeast Asia as a Jazz Ambassador.

Allison gives lessons and masterclasses at universities and high schools throughout the United States, including NYU, UMASS Amherst, University of Alaska, Elon University, University of Southern Florida, West Virginia University, Berkeley Jazz School, University of the Pacific, Kutztown University, UC Berkeley and the University of Maryland. She recently had one of her lessons published in DRUM magazine and has also been featured in Downbeat, Jazz Times, Modern Drummer, All About Jazz NY and Female Musician magazine.

Allison endorses Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks and mallets and LP Percussion.

Allison Miller's Gear
Allison Miller

Gear List

Absolute Birch BBD-1518F 18"x16"BTT-1512J 12"x8"BFT-1514 14"x14"SD-655ARH 14"x5.5"