photo credit: Shervin Lainez
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 won Downbeat’s 67th Annual Critics Poll for “Rising Star Drummer” and JazzTimes’s 2019 Critics Poll for “Best Jazz Drummer.” Boom Tic Boom, Allison’s longtime band, won Jazz Journalists Association’s 2019 award for “Best Mid-Sized Ensemble.” Her composition, “Otis Was a Polar Bear”, is included on NPR’s list of The 200 Greatest Songs by 21st Century Women+. She is also the first recipient of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Commissioning Grant. In January 2020 Miller along with her band, Boom Tic Boom, tap dancer-Claudia Rahardjanoto, and video designer- Todd Winkler premiered this new multimedia suite, In Our Veins, with a seven show tour sponsored by Jazz Touring Network and Mid Atlantic Arts. The project explores multimedia performance as a vital form of knowledge production through the poetic interpretation of historical events and their association with the geography, ecology and flow of specific rivers.
Miller, a three time Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department, was Monterey Jazz Festival’s 2019 Artist in Residence, alongside bassist/producer Derrick Hodge. Simultaneously her band, Boom Tic Boom, celebrated it’s 10th anniversary with the release of their 5th album, Glitter Wolf, which was included in many “Best Jazz Of 2019” lists, including NPR, Rolling Stone and Jazz Times magazine. NPR’s Kevin Whitehead says, “All the parts fit together like clockwork on Allison Miller's new album.” The band has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe and Asia as well as being featured on such programs as NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Tiny Desk with Bob Boilen, WNYC’s Soundcheck and New Sounds with John Schaefer, and Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride.
While breaking from leading Boom Tic Boom, Miller focuses on collaborations, co-directing Parlour Game with Jenny Scheinman and Science Fair with Carmen Staaf. Parlour Game’s debut album also made “Best Jazz Of 2019” lists, including LA Times, Boston Globe, The Nation and was recently featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition. Miller is also a proud member of the critically acclaimed Bluenote recording supergroup Artemis, and is the musical director for Camille A. Brown’s Ink.
As a side-musician, Miller has been the rhythmic force behind such artists as Sara Bareilles, Ani DiFranco, Natalie Merchant, Brandi Carlile, Indigo Girls, Toshi Reagon, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Patricia Barber, Marty Ehrlich, Ben Allison, and Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Allison teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (where she was recently named a Melba Liston Fellow), Stanford Jazz Workshop, Centrum, Geri Allen Jazz Camp, and is the Artistic Director of Jazz Camp West. She has been appointed Arts Envoy to Thailand for her work with Jazz Education Abroad and endorses Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth heads, Evans drumheads and Sunhouse percussion.