Jeff Miller was born and raised in the steel town Pittsburgh, PA. “There was always music playing around the house” Miller says. “From Clapton to CSNY, Rare Earth to Earth Wind and Fire- there are alot of records with worn out grooves. My Grandmother was always watching the Grand Ole Opry or listening to Slavic music on AM radio. Literally I’d go from one room to the next in my house and there’d be different music being played in each room.”
From an early age, Miller had an instrument in his hands. “My first instrument was clarinet. They had one of those “pick an instrument for school orchestra” assemblies at school and although I wanted to play saxophone, my Mom bought me a clarinet as it was more affordable.” Learning the basics through school studies, Miller rose to first chair in the Orchestra. “Soon after grade schooI I realized I wanted to play something other than clarinet..my buddy had a Gibson Explorer..I fell in love.” His Mom bought him his first guitar at age 12 and the rest was history.
“I was listening to all my Mom and Aunt’s records..Santana, Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin…I couldn’t get enough.” Miller learned to play guitar by playing along with these records. In High School he picked up more by getting together and jamming with friends.
He then attended Penn State University where he played in various cover bands, most Importantly a band called Mosaic in which he got connected with Phil Ferlino. “Phil was friends with Bo and played in a group called All Shapes and we’d all get together and Jam. I was most impressed with how many original tunes they’d written.”
After Penn State Miller moved to Boston. “I wanted to learn Jazz.” He learned what he could from being around such great players. “We’d go to Ryles, Willow Jazz club, Regattabar…I was pretty obsessed.” Miller had a group called “Lifeline Trio” which ended up making a CD and performing in those same Jazz clubs.
“I got my fill of Boston and wanted a change, so I called Bo.” Bo was living in Bolinas CA. Miller moved out to San Francisco in May 1997. “I was inspired by the ocean, mountains, trees.” New Monsoon was then formed by Miller and Carper after the El Niño of ’97 “Every day was a New Monsoon” according to Bo and I said “That’d make a great band name.”
New Monsoon has gone on to perform with such great artists as Michael Shrieve, Steve Kimock, Warren Haynes, Martin Fierro, Mike Stern, etc…and play great venues such as the Fillmore, Red Rocks, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits fest.
In 2010, the debut of Miller’s additional new band, “The Contribution” has released its first album and full length DVD entitled “Which Way World.” The group is comprised of fellow artists Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth), Keith Moseley and Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident) and co New Monsooner and longtime friend Phil Ferlino. The band is touted as a “Supergroup” and plans to begin work on the second album soon.
Miller’s solo album “Ancient Wisdom” was released in 2011.