James Miley

Keyboardist James Miley, recipient of the Gil Evans Fellowship in Jazz Composition, is currently Director of Jazz and Improvisational Music at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where he directs the Willamette Jazz Collective and teaches improvisation, composition, music technology, and music theory. Dr. Miley specializes in teaching free improvisation to musicians of all levels of ability (including non-musicians with an open mind and willingness to make some noise), and recently led a two-week improvisation workshop at California State University Summer Arts with vocalist Theo Bleckmann, saxophonist Tim Ries, and trombonist Josh Roseman. Though classically trained as a composer, he has been active as a jazz pianist for the past 30 years, co-leading a band with his brother, guitarist Jeff Miley, and appearing as a guest director and composer at educational jazz festivals all over the United States. His most recent project is a free ‘groove-based’ trio, the Willamette Underground, with guitarist Mike Nord and drummer/percussionist Ryan Biesack, which recently appeared at the Hong Kong Fringe Festival in November, 2015.