My arrangements and original music for jazz ensembles, in particular big band, brass, reeds, strings and vocals are varied and range from contemporary to traditional styles. I aim to create a unique, fresh and organic presentation of the music while still respecting the tradition of jazz music.
Saxophonist, flautist, clarinetist, composer and arranger Russ Miller played lead alto sax with the J.C. Heard Orchestra. During his tenure with J.C. Heard he had the opportunity to perform with jazz luminaries Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy DeFranco, Rob McConnell, Jon Faddis, Joe Williams, Milt Hinton, Rosemary Clooney and Sammy Davis Jr. among others. In addition Russ is called upon to perform with local artists, in pit orchestras and shows, and with his own quintet at the Michigan Jazz Festival and other concert venues.
Russ Miller is currently an Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where he teaches jazz ensembles, jazz improvisation and jazz arranging and orchestration. Russ has been employed as an adjudicator and clinician at many area high school jazz festivals. He is educational director of Wayne State Universitys Jazz Week community outreach program for high school students and has directed the Jazz Week all-star ensemble at 2008, 2009 and 2010 Detroit International Jazz Festival.
He can be heard on recordings with the J.C. Heard Orchestra on “Some of This, Some of That” (Hiroko Records), with jazz organ master Bill Heid on “Wet Streets” (Savant Records), with the John Cooper Jazz Orchestra on “Baecker Jazz Worship Service (Baecker Music Productions), and on Jeannine Miller’s recording “Two For The Road” (PKO Records) which in addition to featuring Russ on sax and flute, features his arrangements of classic jazz standards for big band, woodwinds, brass, strings and jazz quartet. Russ’ most recent release is a recording of a suite of original pieces arranged for jazz big band and vocal chorus entitled “Suite Justice: A Jazz Setting of the Beatitudes” (PKO Records).