Joel Miller Quartet

Ever since he first picked up the saxophone at the age of ten, Joel Miller knew he wanted to be a jazz musician. His father was a classical composer and professor at Mount Alison University in New Brunswick, and Miller grew up in a house filled with music. At age 13, Joel Miller’s parents enrolled him at the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Summer Workshop at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. Miller was the youngest participant, and he caught the eye of trumpeter Kevin Dean, one of the founders of the Jazz programs at both St. Francis Xavier and McGill Universities.

Miller's career really began to take shape in 1996 when he released his first album Find a Way (Page Music). Mark Miller of The Globe & Mail said, "…His solos are supremely melodic - Think of Stan Getz, or of John Coltrane at his most wistful… a terrific debut CD."

Following on the heels of the Find a Way release, Joel Miller was awarded the coveted Grand Prix Jazz Award at the 1997 Montreal International Jazz Festival. Since then, he has had numerous concert appearances as a leader all across North America, Mexico, Europe, Japan and India, and has proved to be an important voice in the international jazz scene.

Along with winning the Quebec Music Council’s Opus Award in 2005 for Concert of the Year, Miller’s fourth album Mandala made the All About Jazz “Publisher Picks”, and was chosen by La Presse critic Alain Brunet as one of the top five jazz albums of the year. He has also been nominated for the ADISQ Awards (Jazz Album of the Year), National Jazz Awards (Best Acoustic Group) and the Canadian Independent Music Awards.


To date, the saxophonist’s recording career spans 14 years with six solo releases. Miller has also led a wide range of ensembles, from numerous traditional Jazz groups, to the electronic infused Latin funk project Honeycomb, to a unique choral collaboration with noted conductor Iwan Edwards’ and his choir Concerto Della Donna. He has performed and recorded with Ingrid Jensen, Geoffrey Keezer, Matt Wilson, Ben Monder, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Denzal Sinclare, Gary Versace and Henry Hey.

Recently his compositions and solo features on his wife’s (Christine Jensen) 2010 release, Treelines, helped propel the album for a Juno Award win for Best Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year and an Opus Award for the Best Jazz Recording.

In April 2012, Joel celebrated his new recording, Swim with two release shows – The Rex hotel in Toronto and Upstairs in Montreal.

Recorded at Pierre Marchand’s studio in Montreal, Swim (Origin Records) is an ambitious album with a more stripped down approach than Joel’s previous recordings; there’s a sparseness that allows room for improvisation. The album features musicians Geoffrey Keezer (keys), Greg Ritchie (drums) and Fraser Hollins (bass).

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