About Ben

Portrait by Alex Sandvoss

 

Ben Miller is a Rochester-based jazz pianist, composer, teacher, and producer. His reverence for jazz and classical tradition resonates in his creative explorations of contemporary harmony. Having lived in the Philippines, Peru, Kenya, Montréal, Ithaca, New York City, Washington DC, and Rochester, Ben has been a member ofseveral distinct music scenes. He is comfortable playing solo or in small combos, big bands, jazz chamber ensembles, or philharmonic orchestras. In addition to jazz, he plays funk, blues, progressive psychedelic fusion, hip-hop, indie rock, jam band, cabaret/musical theater, contemporary dance accompaniment, and Latin.

 

Taru Alexander Quintet album release show for Echoes of the Masters at Smalls Jazz Club, NYC

Ben is a member of the Taru Alexander Quartet, Orbiting Human Circus Quartet, Jesse Collins Quartet, Rob Ingram and Friends, UUU Art Collective Combo, Lost Wax Collective, Hassan Zaman Quartet, Steve Grills and the Roadmasters, Ben Miller Trio, and is a former member of the prestigious Williamsburg All-Stars at the Williamsburg Music Center in Brooklyn. Ben has had the privilege of sharing the stage with many acclaimed musicians, including Taru Alexander, Jesse Collins, Greg Evans, Emilie Samson, Emilie Modeste, Joseph Lepore, Tom DiCarlo, Niklas Lukassen, Miles Griffith, Roy Hargrove, Louis-Vincent Hamel, Julian Koster, Vincent Herring, Rive Quiroz, Stanley Banks, Hanka G, Seamus Blake, Kevin Dean, Adi Meyerson, Al McLean, Ryan Sands, Josh David Barrett, Dominic Duval, Steve Brown, James Delano, Rob Ingram, Marco Cirigliano, Levi Dover, JC Polo, Jordan Lerner, Chris Parker, Radu Ben Judah, Stanley Banks, Gerry Eastman, Jake Leckie, Zach Cean, Daryl Johns, George Delancey, Ben Chilbert, Alex Vine, Moe Michnick, Sam Shuhan, Jules Payette, Isabel Alvarez, Richard Bureau, Hichem Khalfa, and the list goes on.

Jesse Collins Quintet featuring legendary guitarist Steve Brown

Ben is currently working on his debut trio album Feathers of Ma’at consisting entirely of his own originals with Taru Alexander on drums and Joseph Lepore on bass.  He is also leading an 11-piece ensemble project of his own compositions called Dweller on the Threshold featuring fine talent from Rochester and beyond.  For both projects, Ben is handling all aspects of production, from recording to mixing and mastering.

Group photo TMS

Ben’s interest in composition and film scoring has led him into the world of digital music production and orchestration. His work as a producer, film composer, and audio engineer has been featured in podcasts such as WNYC Studios and Night Vale Presents’ The Orbiting Human Circus of the Air, Wondery’s The Next Big Idea, Mensch Media’s Living Downstream, films such as Balk and Farm and Red Moon, as well as in political ads for Priorities USA.

Hard at work producing music at home

Performances and residencies

Williamsburg Music Center, Shrine World Music Venue, 55 Bar, The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, Smalls Jazz Club, Rue B, Anyway Cafe, Tomi Jazz, Legion Bar, Tsion Cafe, Greenfield Hall, Troost Bar, Miller Hall, Denise Bibro Fine Art, The Red Room at KGB Bar, Ronald McDonald House, New York Athletic Club, Neidorff-Karpati Hall (New York City); Maison de la culture Maisonneuve, Upstairs Jazz Bar and Grill, Pollack Hall, L’Absynthe, Solin Hall, Tanna Schulich Hall, Gert’s Bar, Molson Hall, Redpath Hall (Montréal); L’Angelus (Montpellier, France); Flour City Station, Exotic Roots Hydro, the Little Theater, U of R Audio Engineering Lab, Bar Abilene (Rochester, NY); Zebu Club at ILRI (Nairobi, Kenya); Bezanson Recital Hall,(Amherst, MA); Daños Heuriger, Lodi Historical Society (Lodi, NY); Bailey Hall, Community School of Music and Arts, The Warehouse at Argos, The Dock, The Kitchen Theater, Ithaca Commons Main Stage, Buffalo Street Bistro, The History Center, Corks and More, Willard Straight Hall, Collegetown Bagels, Agava, The Carriage House Loft, First Unitarian Society of Ithaca, The Range, Hockett Recital Hall, Longview, The Shop, The Hangar Theater, Moosewood, Monks on the Commons, Lot 10, The Lost Dog, Kulp Auditorium (Ithaca, NY); Sterling Stage (Sterling, NY); Damiani Wine Cellars (Burdett, NY); Funk N’ Waffles, Al’s Wine and Whiskey Lounge (Syracuse, NY); Lafayette Park (Watkins Glen, NY); Mill House Market (Pulaski, NY); and many other venues, restaurants, bars, wineries, clubs, art galleries, private functions, etc.

Fine dining at L’Angelus in Montpellier, France accompanied by Ben’s ivory tickling

Festivals and shows

Sterling Stage Festival, Cornell Summer Concert Series, Montréal Jazz Festival, Crossing Borders Live, Apple Harvest Festival, Ithaca Festival, Newark Backyard BBQ Series, McGill University Battle of the Bands (member of winning band Busty and the Bass), Arch Ballet Pointe in Motion World Premier, Young at Art, Williamsburg All-Stars at WMC, Rob Ingram and Friends (prod by Exotic Roots and Flour City Station), Ithaca All-Star Jazz Invitational, Jazz in July @ UMass Amherst, Porchfest, Ithaca Teen Cabaret, The Fabulous Fable Factory, Kevin Dean’s Next Generation, and various dance, cabaret, and theatrical productions.

Education

Manhattan School of Music (Harlem, NY)

Master’s Degree in Jazz Piano Performance

Awarded merit scholarship

Ensembles by audition: MSM Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra, Brazilian Ensemble

McGill University Schulich School of Music (Montréal, QC)

Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Piano Performance

Minor in Musical Applications of Technology

Ensembles by audition: McGill Big Band, McGill Chamber Jazz Ensemble

Awarded distinction Outstanding Performance in Jazz Piano

Private teachers

Phil Markowitz, Marc Cary, Josh Rager, Jan Jarczyk, Jeff Johnston, Molly McMillan, Joe Salzano, John Stetch, Michael Salmirs, Donna Bloom, John Chapman, Roxana Baldwin

Swingin’ at Cleopatra’s Needle in UWS Manhattan

Check out Ben’s private home studio Third Motion Studios!

If you’re interested in any services or collaborations, send a message in the Contact page.