Dave Miller: Guitarist

Creator of music & baker of goods…

About + Press

Guitarist, Dave Miller, built a very impressive and wide-ranging roster of collaborations in the short amount of time he spent in Chicago. From the traditional to the avant-garde, the concert hall to the dive rock bar, Miller leaves no musical stone unturned.  Miller relocated to New York City in 2011 to further develop his career in music.

He has been a three time consecutive winner in the Union and Civic Arts League of Chicago Jazz Improvisation Competition and was recently featured in Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Reader, Jazziz Magazine, the New York Times, and has appeared on the ABC Morning News and NPR’s Weekend America. In addition to his sought-after, genre-defying talents in guitar performance, Miller has also become respected and heralded as a serious composer, mainly from the output of his experimental indie rock group, Algernon, whose new album, “Ghost Surveillance,” was just released on Cuneiform Records. Miller is also a member of, among other bands, the Greg Ward Quartet, the John McNeil Quartet, Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls (Delmark/Naim Records), Zing! (ears&eyes Records), blink. (Thirsty Ear Records), W. W. Lowman (Arbouse Recordings), and Tim Daisy’s New Fracture Quartet (Multi Kulti Records). Miller has also composed for classical guitar, film, and theatre. Other performance highlights include numerous tours in the United States, Europe, and Asia, four appearances at the Chicago Jazz Festival, five appearances at Chicago’s Millennium Park, and numerous appearances at major clubs such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Cornelia Street Cafe, Shapeshifter Lab, the Metro, Schuba’s, the Green Mill, the Jazz Showcase, the Double Door, the Hideout, and the Empty Bottle. Miller recently performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha for a two month residency with award-winning modern brazilian vocalist, Clarice Assad.

Miller has performed or recorded with John Hollenbeck, Theo Bleckmann, The Scientist, John McNeil, Dana Hall, Nate Wooley, Jochen Reuckert, Eivind Opsvik, Damion Reed, Tony Malaby, Billy Mintz, Cameron Brown, Ingrid Laubrock, Jeff Davis, Dan Tepfer, Russ Lossing, Ben Van Gelder, Colin Stranahan, Noah Preminger, Ziv Ravitz, Clarice Assad, Christian Tamburr, Keita Ogawa, Richard Johnson, Makaya McCraven, Matt Ulery, Dan Bitney, Frank Carlberg, Will Graefe, Jason Nazary, Haggai Cohen Milo, Tomas Fujiwara, Marquis Hill, Josh Johnson, Patricia Barber, Mark Ferber, Tim Daisy, Ted Sirota, Jeff Parker, Jeb Bishop, Dave Rempis, Frank Rosaly, Greg Ward, Geof Bradfield, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten, Rick Rosato, Craig Weinrib, Ohad Talmor, Josh Abrams, John Herndon, Matt Lux, Mike Reed, Josh Berman, Keefe Jackson, Jaimie Branch, Marc Riordan, Quin Kirchner, Caroline Davis, Jeff Albert, Ron Perrillo, Dennis Carroll, Eric Alexander, Joe Farnsworth, Mike Ledonne, George Fludas, Scott Burns, Joe Martin, Donald Harrison, Eddie Henderson, and Matt Wilson.

Here are two recent articles about Dave:

Chicago Reader

The Examiner

Press Quotes about Dave:

“Miller’s guitar has a peculiar crackle to it, a spare way of playing that lets the strings truly resonate, almost making a listener feel inches from the guitar.” –Mark Keresman, New York City Jazz Record, Jan 2015

“I count Miller among my favorite modern guitarists. His ability to garb complicated development within lyrical melody fits as comfortably within a traditional organ trio as it does in the subtler compositions he has turned out for his own post-rock projects…”–Neil Tesser, chicagomusic.org, May 2014

“…among the city’s most versatile and accomplished younger musicians…” –Neil Tesser, Chicago Jazz Music Examiner

“The guitar seems to be the only electric device and its sound pushes the climb towards a summit where the musical heights of this recording are realized (”Glass”). The guitar also explores territory that upends the idea that it is a string instrument (”I Am”)…On the closing and appropriately titled “We Disappear,” the guitar brings the group home, producing a quiet resonance that is nothing less than healing.” –Lyn Horton, All About Jazz, 9/24/08

“…guitarist Dave Miller is the star turn, providing an armoury of power chords and wistful strummings in support.” –Mike Hobart, The Economist, Financial Times

“Miller, one of those polymaths who can’t seem to find enough bands to fill his time…Miller draws from jazz and rock (prog, psych, and post-) but also aspires to a kind of latter-day chamber music: tautly composed lines and detailed, surprisingly delicate arrangements butt up against raucous free improvisation and splashy electronics.” –Neil Tesser, Chicago Reader

“Miller is increasingly active on the local scene–he plays in Algernon, Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls, Zing!, and Blink, among other bands–and he’s starting to hammer out a more distinct sound…he seems to know how to rein in his impressive flexibility and focus on what he can bring to each group, from carefully structured improvisations to complementary texture and color.” –Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader/Post No Bills

“Miller plays with the refined restraint of someone twice his age.” –Matthew Lurie, Time Out

“Guitar player Dave Miller is the resident musical genius of this band (Algernon), the kind of composer that music critics will refer to in the not too distant future trying to pigeonhole other maverick six string wizards.” –Hans Werksman, Here Comes the Flood

“Someday, when jazz-rock protégé Dave Miller surpasses “alt.-music genius” or some other insurmountable rock title, having fed the indie circuit with enough reason to trade in radio noise for something a little more instrumental, he’ll probably look back at it all and think, “Hmm, I could’ve done more.” –Lisa Balde, Beep Magazine

“Talented guitarist Dave Miller is making himself known as an innovative player in the scene…” –Brad Walseth, Jazz Chicago

“Like fellow guitarists Jeff Parker and Fareed Haque, Dave Miller, 24, thinks beyond a single genre…bellowing his way out of the local fringe and into the big time.” –Mark Loehrke, Chicago Magazine

“…guitarist Dave Miller has been burning this past year in live performances, chicken-scratching like Ernest Ranglin and wailing like Pat Metheny.” –Time Out Magazine

“Watch out for Dave Miller. This guy’s got ears, time, chops, tone, and swing–an intelligent, thoughtful musician with a truly open mind. Watch out for Dave Miller…” –Fareed Haque (Garaj Mahal, Fareed Haque Group, Sting, Joe Zawinul, Joe Henderson)

“Very heavy and musical compositions.” –Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Isotope 217, Chicago Underground, Joshua Redman)

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6 thoughts on “About + Press

  1. hey dave!! great vids from the algernon tour! i met you at quenchers when you were playing with aaron mcevers group a while ago. like the blog. thanks!
    -Reed

  2. Thomas Cvikota on said:

    Dave – I enjoyed the Rebel Souls set at the Jazz Fest yesterday. In particular I liked your solo’s and general tonal aplomb.

    Your varied projects and musical curiosity got me to thinking that a collaboration might be of interest. The likes of, I do not at this time know, however, something needs to be done.

    This blog and the intelligent discussions strike me as valiant and valuable. I’m hoping that I might hear back from you if for no other reason than to talk strategy.

    -Thomas

  3. Hi, Dave! I’m writing to ask whether you are (still?) sponsoring in-home concerts in Chicago. Please let me know by Emailing me back. Thanks!

  4. P.S. If you’re not (I’ve just read that you’ve moved here to NYC), can you suggest some people who are organizing Chicago in-home concerts?

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