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.

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

Loston Harris. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Loston Harris On Piano Jazz

The singer and pianist performs "Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me" with host Marian McPartland.

Loston Harris On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/507397417/507539522" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

André Previn. Harald Hoffmann/Deutsche Grammophon hide caption

toggle caption Harald Hoffmann/Deutsche Grammophon

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

André Previn On Piano Jazz

The conductor, composer and pianist plays a special treatment of "Stormy Weather" in a 1990 session.

André Previn On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/506487969/506720784" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Patti Wicks. Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Patti Wicks On Piano Jazz

Hear the pianist and singer join Marian McPartland for a duet version of "Body And Soul."

Patti Wicks On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/505874280/505875288" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Grover Washington, Jr. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Grover Washington, Jr. On Piano Jazz

The Grammy-winning saxophonist plays Duke Ellington standards with host Marian McPartland in 1994.

Grover Washington, Jr. On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/504956273/504956800" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Meredith D'Ambrosio appears on the cover of her 1981 album Another Time. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Meredith D'Ambrosio On Piano Jazz

The vocalist, pianist, visual artist and teacher joined Marian McPartland in 1994.

Meredith D'Ambrosio On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/504133599/504135813" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Lonnie Liston Smith on the cover of Astral Traveling (1973). Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Lonnie Liston Smith On Piano Jazz

One of contemporary music's most versatile keyboardists, Smith joined Marian McPartland in 2002.

Lonnie Liston Smith In The Studio

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/503335536/503336370" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Nellie Lutcher. William P. Gottlieb/Library of Congress hide caption

toggle caption William P. Gottlieb/Library of Congress

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Nellie Lutcher On Piano Jazz

Hear the vocalist and pianist play her original tunes "Hurry On Down" and "Real Gone Guy."

Nellie Lutcher On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/502487319/502603441" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top