Although he often shuns publicity, a web site describing my musical activities would be incomplete and remiss without a page describing the single most important person who has advised and encouraged me. He has consistently and generously provided me the type of invaluable inspiration, guidance and material the past 6 years that has greatly facilitated much of what I’ve done. I am referring to my good friend, since we were classmates in the second grade at P.S. 63 in the South Bronx – Hal Miller.
We often reminisce about how fortunate we both were to be “Children of the 50’s” in New York City, as it enabled us to frequently enjoy live at venues like the Apollo theater in Harlem and world renowned night clubs in downtown Manhattan, so many of the legends of R&B and Jazz who were still with us.
Hal is a product of the State University of New York, having gained his undergraduate degree at SUNY Potsdam and his master’s at SUNY Albany. New York’s Capital District Area people are familiar with his work as a result of his many playing appearances with his own band in various area venues as well as his annual visits to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center with the Santana Band, who he’s been associated with for over 20 years. But he is truly a man of the world.
He’s a man of enviable accomplishments and versatility. While serving for 25 years in an extensive and meaningful career as an educator and administrator for the New York State Division for Youth, he also pursued two additional music vocations of Jazz drummer/Latin percussionist, as well as writer, lecturer, and historian, for over 40 years. In these twin roles, he has gotten to know hundreds of world class musicians, who have provided him enormous experience, insight and information (in addition to that he already possessed) that he has readily in turn shared with students and other music lovers around the world.
Currently, when he is not on the road touring with Santana, Hal devotes much of his time to jazz education. He has been on the faculty of the Skidmore Summer Jazz Institute for the past eight years and he is a regular visitor to other schools such as the University of North Texas in Dallas, Louisville University in Louisville, Ky., Bard College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Hampshire. As the music director for Jazz Video Networks (JVN), Hal Miller is now working on a project which hopes to bring jazz video content as well as history to schools around the country via web casting. He also serves as a special consultant to the excellent Jazz Icons series of rare vintage concert DVD's. Further details on his careers are available in HAL MILLER DETAIL BIO.
This site’s web master is just one of the numerous people that Hal has supported in an endless variety of ways, including Carlos Santana, who publicly praises him as teacher, consultant, manager, spiritual advisor, etc. His knowledge, judgement and wide range of skills were particularly valuable for the diverse activities I undertook over the past six years.
His editorial comments on reviews, business & music advice on producing, technical and content recommendations on presentations & radio programs are but a few of the major areas he has been invaluable in suggesting approaches to better share and promote the music. Of special note are the literally hundreds of rare video and audio items he has generously provided that have comprised over half of the material used in my presentations.
But beyond the specific detail pieces of information and valuable musical material, I value certain other things even more. His serving as the best imaginable role model with his work ethic, openness and professionalism, as well as his perceptively understanding, appreciating and encouraging my passion for this avocation, is what I am most grateful for.
Current Jazz Video-Jazz History Events
Capitol District Jazz lovers now can enjoy his unique, world-class video collection and commentary locally at TESS' LARK TAVERN