Dave Miller: Guitarist

Creator of music & baker of goods…

Chicago happenings this week!

Hey all,

I’m in my hometown, Chicago, doing some great things this week. First and foremost, I’ve been recording an amazing project with Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub. The album is being engineered/produced by the one and only, legendary dub reggae producer, The Scientist! It’s been fantastic so far. Overton is really down to earth and has a great vibe. And the recordings are already sounding exquisite. Tomorrow, he’ll start the two day mixing process, where the real magic happens in dub music, of course! Big ups to the other musicians involved, as well!

Overton Brown (aka The Scientist)

I’ll also be playing at Andy’s Jazz Club on Thursday night with the Josh Johnson 5tet featuring Marquis Hill, Matt Ulery, and Jeremy Cunningham. Friday I’ll be playing at The Lighthouse in Rogers Park with WW Lowman. The great Makaya McCraven will be manning the drum chair that night. Lastly, Saturday night, I’ll be playing with Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub and The Scientist at Martyrs’ to celebrate completion of the record!

I also made a little detour to my old see my buddy, John Perona and record an installment of his YouTube music video series, “Tuesdays with Gary.” Look for that later tonight on Facebook!

If you’re in town, I hope to see you! Thanks for the support, as always.


On the horizon: Greg Ward 4tet @ Jazz Gallery, Patricia Barber 4tet in Europe, Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub/SCIENTIST collab.

Good morning!

Here’s a healthy dose of updates of what’s going on for me in the near future. Lots of exciting stuff!

I’ll be playing at the newly relocated Jazz Gallery in NYC with my musical brother in arms, Greg Ward on April 12th. Greg and I went to college at Northern Illinois University and have been playing together regularly in various bands (Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls, blink., etc.) for about a decade. We’ve also played each others’ music a lot and have developed a very strong musical relationship. Greg is, bar none, one of the greatest musicians I’ve ever played with, and has always been a huge inspiration for me. His music is challenging, but also very engaging, accessible, and absolutely grand in scale. I’m looking forward to playing it again, along with heavyweights Zach Lober (bass) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums).

After that, I have a couple more gigs in town with the Lena Bloch 4tet (feat. greats Frank Carlberg and Billy Mintz) at the Finnish Cultural Center, and with John Tate for his Artist’s Diploma Recital and Juilliard, where we’ll be playing in front of, among others, the legendary bassist, Ron Carter. Please see Performances for an updated schedule.

At the end of the month, I’ll be leaving town for a 3 week European tour with Patricia Barber. We’ll be visiting Portugal, Germany, Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway. We’ll also be doing some festivals in Canada in June. Stop by and say hello!

And last but not least, I’m extremely honored to have been asked to take part in the Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub recording which will be produced by none other than the Jamaican dub reggae legend, Scientist! Here is the link to the Kickstarter for project backing. Please consider contributing or sharing with anyone you think might be interested.

Thanks for reading, hope to see you OUT soon!


W.W. Lowman + Thousand record new album in FR/Chicago, I’m coming for you/Patricia Barber dates/V Day cupcakes

I just arrived back in Brooklyn from a week of writing/recording a new album in Marseille, FR with my brothers, W.W. Lowman and Thousand. It was quite an amazing trip and I can’t say enough good things about the residency program we participated in at Montevideo. The staff there are just genuinely good people and took care of us, and everything we needed for the duration of our stay. As a result, all we had to worry about was making music, which is so rare in grown-up life. In the end, we wrote seven really solid songs from scratch, recorded them, and played a sold out show at the end of the week. And, of course, we had some amazing food and wine along the way! Oh yeah, and lots of Pastis. It was truly inspiring experience and I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of it. Thank you, Montevideo and W.W, Lowman!


Bill and I trying out our new wine koozies



View from our balcony


the band!


Milo soaking it all in right in front of our pad. The recording studio/bar/venue is in the building directly to the right of the frame. Very convenient :).




One of the many beautiful churches in Marseille.

Looking ahead, I’m really excited about getting back together with John Tate (bass) and Devin Drobka (drums) for a midwestern tour in a few weeks. Here’s the dates:

3/18–Skylark (Chicago)

3/19–Bar DeVille (Chicago)

3/20–914 New Music Festival (914 N. California) (Chicago)

3/21–The Jazz Estate (Milwaukee)

3/22–Tonic Tavern (Milwaukee)

3/23–The Fountain (Madison, WI)

I’ve really missed playing with Devin since he relocated to his native city of Milwaukee, so this is going to be special!

Looking farther ahead, I’ll be touring with Patricia Barber in May and June in North America and Europe. Click on her name for specific dates. I, for one, am very excited about Portugal and Norway! I’ll be touring with Ms. Barber through the duration of 2013, so keep checking back for updates.

In the middle of all this, there are a handful of scattered NYC/Brooklyn dates that I’m very much looking forward to with Swimmer and the Lena Bloch 4tet. Music music music!

Oh yeah, and I thought I’d be festive for Valentine’s Day, so I made these chocolate/cinnamon/coffee cupcake with Nutella buttercream frosting!


Tony Malaby added to Branded Saloon 1/17

Great news to report – the incredible saxophonist, Tony Malaby, will be joining my band for our concert at the Branded Saloon in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn on 1/17! Tony is one of my favorite musicians anywhere, and is one of the main reasons I wanted to move to NYC. Here’s to making our own dreams come true!

1/17/13 – Dave Miller Quartet (feat. Tony Malaby, John Tate (bass), and Billy Mintz (drums)) @ Branded Saloon, 8-10pm

If it’s your thing, RSVP on Facebook.

Tony Malaby

Hitting the road with Patricia Barber / upcoming concerts in 2013

Patricia Barber – Monday Night Live at the Green Mill Volume II

I’m very excited to announce that I will be touring with Concord/Blue Note recording artist, Patricia Barber, beginning in April. My dear friend and her normal guitarist, John Kregor, is having a baby in the spring and will be staying off the road for awhile. I met up with Patricia when I was back in Chicago for the holidays. We played a little, talked a little, and decided it was a good fit! Patricia has a great new album, Smash, coming out January 22nd on Concord Jazz. She’ll be touring for it throughout the year and I’ll be stepping in midway. So far, it looks like we’re going to Germany, Turkey, Portugal, etc. I’m very much looking forward to it!

Check out everything Patricia Barber.

I’m also excited to announce some gigs I’ve got coming up with my own music:

1/17 – Dave Miller/John Tate (bass)/Billy Mintz (drums) @ Branded Saloon (Brooklyn)

John is an old old friend and my favorite bassist. Many of you know him. Billy is a veteran of both the LA and NYC jazz scenes and has played with everyone. I’ve been doing some gigs/recordings with him and Lena Bloch, which have been fantastic. Billy is an incredible drummer and just has that vibe, if you know what I mean.

1/31 – Dave Miller/Adam Cote (bass)/Shawn Baltazor (drums) @ Branded Saloon (Brooklyn)

Adam and Shawn are fantastic musicians and, coincidentally, my neighbors, too! Great dudes, great vibes…looking forward to making some music together.

3/14 – DM + TBA @ Lark Cafe

Jake Henry, a great trumpet player, is curating a new series at the Lark Cafe in Ditmas Park. The room is really nice and I’m free to do whatever I want, so stay tuned for details on this…

My NYC trio with John Tate and the great Devin Drobka (drums) will be doing a mini-tour in the midwest in March. These are my dudes!!! Devin has relocated to Milwaukee. We miss him, but he’s doing lots of great stuff out there, so if you’re around, check him out. We’ll be playing all of our originals and will probably have some very special guests. Here’s what we’ve got so far:

3/18 – Skylark (Chicago)

3/19 – Bar Deville (Chicago)

3/20 – 914 New Music Fest (Chicago)

We also plan to hit Milwaukee and Madison, so stay tuned!

December performances

Hello there. Please wander over to Performances to see where I’m playing in December. Lots of exciting gigs in both NYC and Chicago. I’ll be debuting a new trio with Adam Cote (bass) and Mark Ferber (drums). I’m also looking forward to playing with Lena Bloch, Dan Tepfer, and Billy Mintz. Also – the House Party Starting Jazz Series (Chicago), which I co-created with my great friend, Andrew Trim, will be resuming on 12/23 when I play with Jeremy Cunningham’s Quartet! These are just a few of the things I’m looking forward to in the near future. Hope to see you OUT!

Gigs in Chicago 6/26-7/5; July gigs in NYC.

Hey there,

I’m excited to be leaving to visit my home – Chicago, starting tomorrow for my cousin’s wedding.  I decided I might as well book some gigs, too!  Here’s what’s coming up:

6/26–Dave Miller Trio (Clark Sommers/Jeremy Cunningham) @ Gilt Bar (Chicago)

6/27–Ian Springer Trio @ Revolver (Chicago)

6/30–Sabertooth Organ Quartet @ Green Mill (Chicago)

7/1–Dave Miller/Jeff Parker/Josh Abrams/Frank Rosaly @ Hungry Brain (Chicago)

7/2–Kevin Kizer Quintet @ Jazz Showcase (Chicago)

7/3–Spilter @ The Whistler (Chicago)

7/5–Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls @ Andy’s (Chicago)

I’m also very very excited to come back to NYC for these gigs:

7/12–Greg Ward 4tet (Damion Reed/Zach Lober/DM) @ Shapeshifter Lab (Brooklyn)

Greg has been my musical brother for many years now, and it’s always an honor and a blast to play with him.  I’m really looking forward to playing, for the first time, with Zach and Damion.

7/14–John McNeil 4tet (Joe Martin/Jochen Rueckert/DM) @ Cornelia St. Cafe (Manhattan)

I’ve been working with John on some of his new music already and it’s fantastic.  I’ve been a fan of John’s music for many years now and he was one of the main reasons I wanted to move to NYC.  Needless to say, I’m super excited, honored, and humbled to be playing with him, as well as greats Joe Martin and Jochen Rueckert.

AUDIO: Ted Sirota Quintet Tribute to Lennie Tristano – 5/25/05 @ Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL

This concert came about my senior year at Northern Illinois University when I did an independent study on the music of Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz, and Warne Marsh.  This included countless hours of transcribing dozens of their compositions and solos, and devouring any reading materials about them that I could find.  Looking back, it’s hard to believe how I got through it all, but it was an amazing learning experience that I’ll never forget.  We also did all this material, along with Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls (of which I had recently become a member) material for my senior recital in DeKalb, IL.  It was awesome to bring these guys out there, play the recital in the local Indian restaurant (I had to twist the administration’s arm to let me not do it in the recital hall), and then throw a classic college RAGER at my apartment with the band and a bunch of awesome people.

Tristano and crew are still some of my favorite musicians.  Nevertheless, I remember after finishing this project that I couldn’t listen to them for a really long time.

The last time I think I heard this live recording was probably shortly after the concert.  Listening back to your former self is always a painful experience, and this is no exception.  I can hear a definite lack of maturity in my playing (I was 22 at the time).  I’m also still searching for a personal voice (if you’re familiar with some of the older generation of Chicago guitarists, you’ll know what I’m talking about!).  The heads to the tunes sound really great, though, and everybody’s playing beautifully.  For those keeping track, you’re hearing a 22 year old Greg Ward!  What a guy.  Geof Bradfield is nailing it, as always, and there’s a seamless blend between the two horns.  Hyosub needs to pick up the bass again – he had a great sound!  Ted has always been one of my favorite drummers – great tone, taste, history, and creativity.  His band, Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls, should be in the Chicago jazz history books sooner or later.

Oh yeah, this was back when the Empty Bottle had jazz multiple nights a week, let alone ever.  Remember that?!  If you’re younger than me, probably not.

Thanks to Ted Sirota for digging out this recording and posting it online.  You can hear more Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls music here.  You can hear this particular band (with the fabulous Jake Vinsel replacing Hyosub Kim on bass) on the 2008 Naim release Seize the Time).  As of late, the band did a one-off performance at the wonderful Galesburg Rootabaga Jazz Festival and tore the roof off the sucka.  I’d love to see what this band can do after a few weeks on the road!

Greg Ward – alto sax, Geof Bradfield – tenor sax, Dave Miller – guitar, Hyosub Kim – bass, Ted Sirota – drums/laptop (“Turkish Mambo”)

Algernon “Ghost Surveillance” unreleased tracks now released on Bandcamp!

Algernon’s “Ghost Surveillance” (Cuneiform Records, 2010) was recorded at Steve Albini’s famed Electrical Audio recording studio by Manny Sanchez. These are a couple of the songs from the sessions that we still love, but didn’t make the final cut for the album. Enjoy!

Young Guitarists Make Good

I was recently sent some music by former guitar students that I’d like to share with you all.

PRCHER PRCHER – featuring my old student, Andrew Clinkman.  Awesome avant improv weirdness.  Andrew’s attending the New England Conservatory right now and studying under heavies like Joe Morris and Anthony Coleman.  Go Andrew!  This band also features Danny Van Duerm, an excellent pianist, who I’ve known since I was a kid in Wheaton.

Brownie Mountain – featuring my old student, Logan Bloom.  Very well done math rock.  Logan is studying at Indiana University Bloomington.  These guys are starting to play a lot around Chicago, so make sure to watch out for them.  I believe they’re also coming out to tour the east coast soon!

These guys are both killing it and I’m really proud of them.  Check ’em out!

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