Musicians You Should Know: Allison Miller

Basic Facts

Born: Texarkana, Texas
Type of Performer: Drummer, composer, teacher
Genre: Jazz, pop, contemporary

About Allison Miller

Allison Miller was born in Texas and raised near Washington, D.C. Her mother was a pianist and conductor and her father was a sound engineer. She started music lessons on piano at age seven, but switched to drums at age ten. After high school, she attended West Virginia University, well known for its percussion program, where she studied alternative music and world percussion. She moved to New York in the late 1990s, where she has been based ever since. She continued to study with local drummers and developed a reputation as a strong studio musician and touring performer. She has worked with musicians from across the spectrum of genres, including Ani DiFranco, Sara Bareilles, Joel Harrison, Virginia Mayhew, and many others. She also leads several ensembles: Boom Tic Boom released their debut album in 2005, and Honey Ear Trio got their start in 2011. She currently teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. 

Miller was awarded a Presenter Consortium for Jazz Grant from Chamber Music America in 2014. She has been named a Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department three times. She has been named as one of the top 20 jazz drummers and a rising star drummer in Downbeat Magazine's Critics Poll. She was the first recipient of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation's Commissioning Grant. Her composition "Otis Was A Polar Bear" (the title track from Boom Tic Boom's 2016 record) was included on NPR's list of The 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+. In 2019, she was the Artist in Residence at the Monterey Jazz Festival, and Boom Tic Boom's most recent album release, Glitter Wolf, was included on many "Best Jazz of 2019" lists. 


Boom Tic Boom at NPR's Tiny Desk

Drum solo on My Favorite Things, with Kitty Margolis

Further Reading