Matthew Miller made his recording debut while still pursuing his undergraduate degree. The album, shrewdly named Self Titled, is the result of a collaboration project, MST, whose members approach the music from a diverse range of musical backgrounds. The project represents music that is accessible, intelligent, energetic, and borrows from both traditional structures and free improvisation. All of these things can also be said of Matthew’s music as a whole. He is not limited to any single genre or approach, but rather draws from a variety of musical experience every time he steps onto a stage. He highly values education, and his varied studies include classical music, jazz, rock, avant-garde, collective improvisation, and much beyond and in between.
As a dedicated multi-instrumentalist, Matthew can be seen performing on vibraphone, drums, percussion, and piano, and often serves as composer, arranger, and bandleader. His collaborations cover a wide spectrum, from straight ahead jazz to fusion and new music. He is comfortable performing in a variety of contexts, including concert stages, black boxes, recording studios, parks, churches, restaurants, bars, and even retirement centers.
Matthew earned his Master of Music degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During his time at UIUC Matthew cultivated his knowledge of the jazz idiom as well as his experience in free improvisational contexts. While working on this degree Matthew founded the Avant-Gardians, an eclectic ensemble rooted in free improvisation and comprised of musicians from a wide variety of musical backgrounds. Matthew had the privilege of studying with many excellent educators at the University of Illinois, including Chip Stephens, Chip McNeil, William Moersch, Larry Gray, Jim Pugh, and Jason Finkelman.
Matthew earned his B.A. at North Central College as a double major in Jazz Studies and German, and graduated magna cum laude as a member of the College Scholars Honors Program. This program is notable for the requirement of an undergraduate thesis, for which Matthew composed and performed a piece for solo vibraphone, Skyline, that explored many textures and tonal possibilities. During his time at NCC Matthew had the privilege of studying with such excellent musicians as Brad Stirtz, Chris White, Jonathon Kirk, and John McLean.
Matthew Miller is an active freelance musician and private instructor. He currently resides in Champaign, IL, where he is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.