Jim Miller is our first featured guest at Fred Vandenberg’s King George Inn music series . This goes down May 22 2016 @ 6pm. The King George Inn will be providing happy hour drink and dinner specials for our guests. Admission $10 . Here just some of Jim’s incredible bio. Jim Also played on my first album Fred Vandenberg and the world beat ensemble back in 1993.
At age 12 the “music nun” switched me from piano to drums because no one else exhibited any natural proclivity toward becoming the scapegoat in our traditional losses at district band contests. Falling in love with drums immediately, I demonstrated my interest and gratitude by liberating a pair of drumsticks from school (using them at home to break the heads on some Emenee bongos) and took private snare drum lessons with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra percussionist Jack Wagley. Playing professionally by 1970, after dropping out of college (Butler University, 1971-1972) to go on the road throughout the Midwest with a stylistic variety of original-material bands, I moved to Florida for a year (1973-1974), and the chance opportunity of playing with Ira Sullivan there accelerated my burgeoning interest in jazz. Returning briefly to Indianapolis, I studied informally at drum clinics with John Von Ohlen, J. C. Heard, Ed Shaughnessy and Alan Dawson, and went back out on the road. After choosing Philadelphia as a home base in 1977, I was leader/co-founder of the “electro-jazz” group Reverie, which released four collections of original material in the ten-plus years of its performances at festivals, clubs and colleges from New England to Florida; through my long-term associations with saxophonist Denis DiBlasio, pianist Eddie Green and vocalist Suzanne Cloud, as a sideman I have backed Larry Coryell, Johnny Coles, Al Grey, Anita O’Day, Mark Murphy, Richie Cole, Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Houston Person, John Swana, Buddy DeFranco, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Cecil Bridgewater, Reggie Workman, Ted Rosenthal, Dave Stryker, James Moody, Steve Marcus, Eddie Gomez, Dave Liebman and many others at countless schools, clubs, concerts and festivals, including performances at the Cancun Jazz Festival (1992) and two tours of Portugal with pianist Brian Trainor (1995 and 1996). I have since recorded 2 CDs of my own compositions, “If it’s not one thing…” (2003) and “…it’s another” (2007).
Creating Dreambox Media (originally Encounter Records) resulted in Philadelphia Magazine’s 1999 choice award for Best Jazz Record Label; in early 2007, Dreambox Media celebrated its twentieth anniversary, coinciding with our one-hundredth release. In 1998 I became Adjunct Professor for Advanced Drumset Study on the Jazz Faculty at Rowan University (Glassboro, New Jersey; member American Federation of Teachers, Local 2373) and continue in that position. During 1997-1998 I participated in a 20-week Children’s Music Workshop series for (Cousin Mary’s) John Coltrane Cultural Society, sponsored by the Philadelphia Housing Authority. I produced Evelyn Simms’ recording “On My Own,” which was awarded Best Jazz Recording of 1989 by the Philadelphia Music Foundation. In addition, I am a contributing writer for JazzTimes magazine, reviewing drum equipment as well as instructional drum books and videos, and have written one book, “A Brief History of Time-Keeping: from Baby Dodds to Jack DeJohnette” (unpublished), and contributed to “The African American National Biography,” a joint project of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University and Oxford University Press, published in January 2008. In 2010, my MONKadelphia CD “Crepuscule” was named one of the 2010 Top Ten Best in Jazz by the Philadelphia Inquirer, and in April 2013, I was honored with the Jazz Hero Award for the greater Philadelphia area from the Jazz Journalists Association.
Lastly, I proudly serve as a board member of JazzBridge.org.