Allison Miller leads Boom Tic Boom at the Kennedy Center during the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival. i

Allison Miller leads Boom Tic Boom at the Kennedy Center during the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival. Margot Schulman/Courtesy of the Kennedy Center hide caption

toggle caption Margot Schulman/Courtesy of the Kennedy Center
Allison Miller leads Boom Tic Boom at the Kennedy Center during the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

Allison Miller leads Boom Tic Boom at the Kennedy Center during the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

Margot Schulman/Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom On JazzSetWBGO

Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom On JazzSet

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/155923412/178803326" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Allison Miller has a jazz portfolio with Dr. Lonnie Smith, Steven Bernstein and a host of others, as well as a pop career with Brandi Carlile, Ani DiFranco and Natalie Merchant. She's a U.S. State Department Jazz Ambassador, 2011 Artist in Residence at Jazz Camp West and faculty member at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. As JazzSet host Dee Dee Bridgewater says from the Terrace Theater stage, "Allison is happenin'."

Lyn Horton of allaboutjazz.com describes Miller's drum sounds: "clicks, hisses and scrapes, allusions to reverb and brush and cymbal work so fluid that it resembles water misting or swooshing across a fine sandpaper surface."

There's a "hip-shaking reworking of Mary Lou Williams' 'Intermission,'" the L.A. Times writes, and "Six Nettes" by Lisa Parrott, deconstructing Ornette Coleman.

"Spotswood Drive" is for Miller's teacher and friend, who died in 2007.

"After Walter Salb passed," Miller writes to JazzSet, "I decided to start a nonprofit scholarship fund in his honor. The Walter Salb Memorial Musical Scholarship Fund awards a deserving Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools senior student $500, to be used in furthering his/her studies in music. I encourage students to submit original music during the audition process."

After "Big and Lovely" (for D.C.-born musician Toshi Reagon), Dee Dee Bridgewater exclaims, "Allison, you rock!" And the following day, the lady who swings the drums is off to give a commencement speech at West Virginia University. We'd like to read that.

The show closes with "When You Wish Upon A Star" by the Chihiro Yamanaka Trio — Yamanaka, piano; Yoshi Waki, drummer John Davis — from the same opening night at the 2012 Mary Lou Williams Festival. For information about the 2013 event, please visit the Kennedy Center website.

With Dee Dee Bridgewater onstage, WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton hosts this edition.

Set List
  • "Cheyenne" (Miller)
  • "Intermission" (Mary Lou Williams)
  • "Spotswood Drive" (Miller)
  • "Six Nettes" (Lisa Parrott)
  • "Pork Belly" (Miller)
  • "Big and Lovely" (Miller)
Credits

Festival producer is Kevin Struthers with Jean Thill. Recording by Greg Hartman and Drew Doucette. Surround Sound remix by Duke Markos.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Jacky Terrasson. Philippe Levy-Stab/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Philippe Levy-Stab/Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Jacky Terrasson On Piano Jazz

Back in 1995, the young pianist demonstrated extraordinary talent on standards.

Jacky Terrasson On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487065269/487071612" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Aaron Parks. Bill Douthart/Courtesy of ECM Records hide caption

toggle caption Bill Douthart/Courtesy of ECM Records

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Aaron Parks On Piano Jazz

The prolific pianist was still in his teens when he joined Marian McPartland for this 2001 session.

Aaron Parks In The Studio

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/485228786/485229737" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Randy Weston. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Jazz Night In America

Randy Weston At 90

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The eminent pianist was the guest of honor at this year's Panama Jazz Festival.

Randy Weston At 90

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/484419476/484422409" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Ray Charles and Marian McPartland. Courtesy of Vanguard hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Vanguard

Jazz Night In America

The Ray Charles Songbook

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Trumpeter Kenny Rampton launched his career with the great performer. He presents that music live.

The Ray Charles Songbook

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/484407414/484419129" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Valerie Capers. David Katzenstein/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption David Katzenstein/Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Valerie Capers On Piano Jazz

The pianist and educator shows off her classical chops in a solo during "It Could Happen To You."

Valerie Capers In The Studio

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/484230476/484313442" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Monty Alexander. Crush Boone/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Crush Boone/Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Monty Alexander On Piano Jazz

The Jamaican-born pianist, known for his rhythmic approach, joined Marian McPartland in 1991.

Monty Alexander In The Studio

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/482469803/482492744" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Brandee Younger and Edmar Castañeda. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artists

Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

Return Of The Jazz Harp

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Brandee Younger and Edmar Castañeda are bringing the ancient instrument back to the music.

Return Of The Jazz Harp

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/482494560/482495987" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Alan Clare. Allan Warren/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

toggle caption Allan Warren/Wikimedia Commons

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Alan Clare On Piano Jazz

In 1990, the British pianist joined host Marian McPartland from the BBC's London studios.

Alan Clare On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/480295874/480633264" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Dena DeRose. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Dena DeRose On Piano Jazz

In a 2001 session, the singer and pianist joined host Marian McPartland for a program of standards.

Dena DeRose On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/479740933/479741803" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top