In a town that boasts an unusually large number of top-tier jazz musicians, Doug Miller was one of Seattle’s most respected bass players for 23 years. A mainstay of that regional jazz scene for two decades, Doug appeared in concerts, clubs, clinics and on recordings with many of the world’s leading jazz musicians including James Moody, Ken Peplowski, George Cables, Ray Vega, and Dick Hyman, and he has toured with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Ellington Orchestra, and Ernestine Anderson. He’s a founding member of the critically-acclaimed trio New Stories, and of Big Neighborhood, a quartet that played twenty-first century jazz by merging unusual elements in collage-like compositions that combined unusual energy with edgy improvisation. Doug is also a composer whose compositions are widely recorded, and an educator and former member of the faculty of the University of Washington, where he taught for eight years.
Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Doug is a direct musical descendant of Ray Brown, the pioneering bebop musician who set the standard for jazz bass throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Inspired by the great jazz bands led by David Baker at Indiana University in the late 1960s and early 1970s (which included musicians such as the Brecker brothers), Doug took up the jazz trumpet while in sixth grade and started playing electric bass a few years later. While Doug was in tenth grade, he heard Ray Brown protege and I.U. student John Clayton. Doug began studying with Clayton, who has gone on to become one of the most renowned jazz musicians of the modern era, and Clayton has long been one of Doug’s most important mentors.