NYC-based drummer/composer/educator 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 also been recognized as one of the “Top 20 Jazz Drummers” by 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 celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2019 with the release of Glitter Wolf, their 5th album, featuring pianist Myra Melford, violinist Jenny Scheinman, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, coronetist Kirk Knuffke, bassist Todd Sickafoose, and Miller on drums. NPR’s Kevin Whitehead cites “All the parts fit together like clockwork on Allison Miller’s new album Glitter Wolf,” and JazzTimes announced “Boom Tic Boom’s previous four records were like bread crumbs leading longtime listeners to this record”. Previous Boom Tic Boom releases include 5am Stroll (2005), Boom Tic Boom (2010), Live at Willisau (2012), No Morphine, No Lillies (2013), and Otis Was a Polar Bear (2016).
Boom Tic Boom has been met with critical acclaim, receiving 4.5 stars from Downbeat Magazine and having been named among the Top 10 Jazz Albums cited by Downbeat, The L.A. 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, MPR’s Tiny Desk with Bob Boilen, JazzSet with DeeDee Bridgewater, The Checkout: Live with Josh Jackson, and on NPR’s Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride. Festival appearances include Monterey Jazz Festival, Freihofer’s Saratoga Festival, Stanford Festival, San Francisco Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, RockIt Festival, Molde Festival, Guimarāes, Willisau Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Jazz Restival, Saalfelden Festival, Muenster Festival, Iowa City Festival, Reykjavik Festival, EarShot Seattle, Mary Lou Williams - Kennedy Center Festival, Edgefest, Mass Moca, Lugo, Pittsburgh Festival and Redwood Jazz Alliance.
When not on stage leading Boom Tic Boom Miller focuses on collaborations, and is well-known for co-directing performance groups Parlour Game with violinist Jenny Scheinman, and Science Fair with pianist Carmen Staaf. Science Fair’s debut release was included “Best Jazz of 2018” lists by both the New York Times and the L.A. Times. Miller is also a proud member of the critically-acclaimed group Artemis, along with Renee Rosnes, Cecile McClorin Salvant, Ingrid Jensesn, Anat Cohen, Melissa Aldana and Noriko Ueda. She is the musical director for Camille A. Brown’s Ink, along with Michelle Dorrance and the American Ballet Theater’s production Dream Within A Dream, Speak from 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 Carlisle, Toshi Reagon, the Meredith Vieira Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers Band, Pino Daniele, and Erin McKeown. Miller’s jazz skills have been embraced by such legends as organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and vocalist Patricia Barber, along with instrumental trailblazers such as Marty Ehrlich, Myra Melford, Steven Bernstein, Renee Rosnes and Ben Allison.
Miller is a three-time Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. 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, at 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 Magazine, Jazz Times, DRUM, Tom Tom, and Drummer UK. Her instructional videos are proudly produced by Reverb.
In 2008 Miller founded the Walter Salb Memorial Musical Scholarship Foundation in honor of her late teacher and mentor Walter Salb. The foundation annually provides a monetary award to a promising young musician focusing on furthering their musical career through study.
Miller endorses Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Sunhouse percussion, and Evans drumhead products.