Sammy Miller and The Congregation
Gig Seeker Pro

Sammy Miller and The Congregation

Band Jazz Soul

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Starting out in a family band, Sammy Miller grew up and quickly found the beat to his own drum.

The Rolling Hills resident learned to play a drum set at the age of 5. His older brother and sister, Nate and Molly, played the bass and the guitar, respectively.

“The logical, finishing piece to a band was the drum,” he said.

Together they formed the rock band, Underage.

Although he was, in his own word, “awful” when he first began to play, young Miller continued. Now, the high school senior is an up-and-coming jazz drummer.

Miller recently won first place in the jazz instrumental category, playing a composition he wrote in front of 3,000 to 4,000 people, at the Spotlight Awards competition on May 2 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The Spotlight Awards, sponsored by the Music Center of Los Angeles County, is a nationally acclaimed performing and visual arts program for teens.

“It becomes like a segment of a film,” he said. “I can’t remember even playing. I’ve never heard that much applause.”

The Spotlight Awards is just one of many honors Miller has earned.

As a student at Peninsula High School, Miller auditioned and won a place on the Southern California Honor Jazz Band. The director, Jason Goldman, also taught at the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts, and working with him inspired Miller’s decision to leave Peninsula and audition for LACHSA.

“I realized how much more intense and how much more I’d put into music if I went there; so I auditioned,” he said. “Peninsula is a great school, but it’s just not at the same music level.”

Going to LACHSA led to other opportunities. Miller played at the Lincoln Center, where he met jazz great Wynton Marsalis. He auditioned for Marsalis and is now in the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Orchestra, which will tour clubs this summer.

On Monday, Miller performed for First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House, launching Obama’s White House Music Series. Miller joined Marsalis and 13 other Los Angeles-area students from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in the first of a series of workshops that will highlight the importance of arts.

“I’ve been very fortunate that all these roads are intertwined, and it seems that every one [of them] leads to something even more interesting,” Miller said. “I’m pretty thankful about all of it.”

Miller also credits internationally renowned jazz pianist David Benoit as a big influence.

“He’s really been an important part,” Miller said of his mentor.

Miller is the only student Benoit has hired for a professional performance, according to Benoit.

“He had that real excited, kind of thing so few musicians have, and that is a real desire to learn and to get better … I saw a lot of potential so I took him under my wing and kind of helped him,” he said.

Before he leaves the Peninsula and enters The New School, a progressive university in New York, as a freshman this fall, Miller will continue some work he began locally.

Miller, with the help of Freedom4U founder and director Greg Allen, hosts The Annex’s Congregation Night, an evening of music and art.

“He’s really grown in his leadership abilities,” Allen said. “He’s grown as a musician and performer.”

Allen has known Miller and his family for about seven years. The siblings were instrumental in coordinating “Jazz Expressions” at Trump National Golf Club and they teach at Freedom4U’s Music Improvisational Workshop.

“He, Molly and Nate — it’s a wonderful family; it’s a musical family,” Allen said. “They’re great to be involved with, [and] it’s wonderful seeing [Sammy] maturing and growing.”

At the next Congregation Night, which is on Friday, June 19 at 7 p.m., Miller will screen his short documentary film, “Big Man on the Drums: The Kenny Dennis Story.” Also interested in film scoring, Miller put together the documentary to develop that passion. The film honors another one of his mentors, Kenny Dennis. Dennis, now 79, played with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk and now teaches students in Los Angeles.

Tickets for Congregation Night cost $5. The Annex is located in The Village shopping center, next to the Peninsula Center Library. - PV NEWS


Starting out in a family band, Sammy Miller grew up and quickly found the beat to his own drum.

The Rolling Hills resident learned to play a drum set at the age of 5. His older brother and sister, Nate and Molly, played the bass and the guitar, respectively.

“The logical, finishing piece to a band was the drum,” he said.

Together they formed the rock band, Underage.

Although he was, in his own word, “awful” when he first began to play, young Miller continued. Now, the high school senior is an up-and-coming jazz drummer.

Miller recently won first place in the jazz instrumental category, playing a composition he wrote in front of 3,000 to 4,000 people, at the Spotlight Awards competition on May 2 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The Spotlight Awards, sponsored by the Music Center of Los Angeles County, is a nationally acclaimed performing and visual arts program for teens.

“It becomes like a segment of a film,” he said. “I can’t remember even playing. I’ve never heard that much applause.”

The Spotlight Awards is just one of many honors Miller has earned.

As a student at Peninsula High School, Miller auditioned and won a place on the Southern California Honor Jazz Band. The director, Jason Goldman, also taught at the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts, and working with him inspired Miller’s decision to leave Peninsula and audition for LACHSA.

“I realized how much more intense and how much more I’d put into music if I went there; so I auditioned,” he said. “Peninsula is a great school, but it’s just not at the same music level.”

Going to LACHSA led to other opportunities. Miller played at the Lincoln Center, where he met jazz great Wynton Marsalis. He auditioned for Marsalis and is now in the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Orchestra, which will tour clubs this summer.

On Monday, Miller performed for First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House, launching Obama’s White House Music Series. Miller joined Marsalis and 13 other Los Angeles-area students from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in the first of a series of workshops that will highlight the importance of arts.

“I’ve been very fortunate that all these roads are intertwined, and it seems that every one [of them] leads to something even more interesting,” Miller said. “I’m pretty thankful about all of it.”

Miller also credits internationally renowned jazz pianist David Benoit as a big influence.

“He’s really been an important part,” Miller said of his mentor.

Miller is the only student Benoit has hired for a professional performance, according to Benoit.

“He had that real excited, kind of thing so few musicians have, and that is a real desire to learn and to get better … I saw a lot of potential so I took him under my wing and kind of helped him,” he said.

Before he leaves the Peninsula and enters The New School, a progressive university in New York, as a freshman this fall, Miller will continue some work he began locally.

Miller, with the help of Freedom4U founder and director Greg Allen, hosts The Annex’s Congregation Night, an evening of music and art.

“He’s really grown in his leadership abilities,” Allen said. “He’s grown as a musician and performer.”

Allen has known Miller and his family for about seven years. The siblings were instrumental in coordinating “Jazz Expressions” at Trump National Golf Club and they teach at Freedom4U’s Music Improvisational Workshop.

“He, Molly and Nate — it’s a wonderful family; it’s a musical family,” Allen said. “They’re great to be involved with, [and] it’s wonderful seeing [Sammy] maturing and growing.”

At the next Congregation Night, which is on Friday, June 19 at 7 p.m., Miller will screen his short documentary film, “Big Man on the Drums: The Kenny Dennis Story.” Also interested in film scoring, Miller put together the documentary to develop that passion. The film honors another one of his mentors, Kenny Dennis. Dennis, now 79, played with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk and now teaches students in Los Angeles.

Tickets for Congregation Night cost $5. The Annex is located in The Village shopping center, next to the Peninsula Center Library. - PV NEWS


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Growing up in a musical family in the suburbs of Los Angeles, Sammy Miller has played music with his siblings since the time he was in kindergarden. And despite his success during high school in the los-angeles jazz scene, including working with Wynton Marsalis and winning the Los Angeles Spotlight Award, since going away to college, Sammy have looked for more musical settings outside of the jazz realm. Musical settings that would allow him to play as he did when he was kids for the sole purpose to feel good and make the audience feel good. Joining together with his older sister, Molly, and closest friends to comprise: The Congregation. While members of The Congregation have individually worked with far-ranging artists from Jason Mraz, Terence Blanchard, Meshell Ndegeocollo, Joe Henry, and Ozomatli, in venues all over the country from the White House to the Hollywood Bowl, together they have created a style that is very much their own. Just finishing their self-titled EP, Sammy Miller and the Congregation is excited to bring audiences the their unique sound to audience all over the country.