Composer and Jazz Pianist James Miley, recipient of the prestigious IAJE/ASCAP Gil Evans Fellowship in Jazz Composition, has been a featured composer at the International Jazz Composers Symposium in Tampa, FL, and made his Carnegie Hall debut as a composer with After the Water, the Clouds (2006), premiered by the James Logan Wind Symphony under the direction of Ramiro Barrera. His work for large jazz ensembles has been commissioned by many of the top university and high school big bands in the nation, most recently for the California All-State Honor Jazz Band, the University of Texas at Arlington, the Las Vegas Academy and the Monterey Next Generation Festival. He has appeared as a guest composer and director at numerous national and international festivals and universities over the past decade, including the Universities of Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, and Oregon, CSU Northridge, California Institute of the Arts, and the Kathmandu, Sundance (Nepal), Reno, San Joaquin, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. His catalog of compositions and arrangements is available through Walrus Music, Sierra Music and UNC Jazz Press.
Recent recordings include BUG’s The Gadfly (Origin Records, 2009), the Dan Cavanagh/Jazz Emporium Big Band ‘s Pulse (OA2, 2008), classical trumpet virtuoso John Adler’s Confronting Inertia (Origin Classical, 2009), and the Hashem Assadullahi
Sextet featuring Ron Miles’ Pieces (Origin, 2013). Future recording projects include an electronic duo with his brother, Los Angeles-based guitarist Jeff Miley, and a new dectet featuring composer/performers Steve Owen, Andrew Bishop, and Dan Cavanagh. James is also a founding member of the composer collective ECHO with composer Dan Cavanagh, premiering his composition “Necessary Angels” for piano trio, electric guitar and human beatboxer with the Kandinsky Trio in April, 2009. Along with composers Fred Sturm and Patty Darling, James curated the Radiohead Jazz Project series in 2011, which culminated in a studio recording by the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble and a premiere live performance of the set by the Frankfurt Radio Big Band in September, 2011.
Dr. Miley holds degrees from Occidental College (B.A., 1989), the University of Arizona (M.Mus., 1994) and the University of Oregon (D.M.A., 1999), in addition to graduate-level coursework at the California Institute of the Arts and the University of California, Santa Barbara. His principal teachers in composition have included Richard Grayson, Jeff Stolet, Daniel Asia, Robert Kyr and Harold Owen, along with Steve Owen, Gary Versace, David Roitstein and Larry Koonse in Jazz Studies. In addition to directing the Willamette Jazz Collectove, Dr. Miley’s teaching and research interests include music theory, composition, improvisation, orchestration and arranging, aesthetics, popular and jazz music history and creative applications of technology in music.
A California native, James Miley previously held appointments at Virginia Tech, Cuesta College (San Luis Obispo, CA), California State University, Fresno, and Albion College (Albion, MI).