Alfred University News

Alfred University trustee, lawyer, and jazzman: Dave Miller bringing his music home for MostArts ’23

Alfred University alumnus Dave Miller ’66 and his daughter, Rebecca DuMaine, have been performing jazz together since 2010 and regularly make the rounds at some of the notable jazz clubs across the country. They will perform together during the 2023 MostArts Festival, joined by Rebecca’s son Jackson, MostArts alumnus Simon Bjarning, and bassist-guitarist Peter Chwazik. The music begins at 7:30 Monday, July 24 in the Miller Theater.

A long-time member of Alfred University’s Board of Trustees, Miller also is a partner in the San Francisco law firm Hanson Bridgett. He began playing the piano at the age of three, strongly influenced by his grandmother, a concert pianist, and encouraged by his parents to pursue musical study. Grounded in classical music, he gravitated to jazz as a teenager and never looked back, although his classical roots remained an essential element of his jazz orientation.

Following law school and a judicial clerkship, Miller relocated from his native New York to San Francisco and for nearly half a century led dual lives, practicing law by day and performing jazz gigs at night. In daylight hours, he served as legal counsel to clients including the authority that operates the Golden Gate Bridge; after sundown, he played his special brand of straight up, classical jazz.

During the past decade, his daughter Rebecca has joined his trio, collaborating with her father on regular gigs and on five Summit releases including the highly acclaimed 2019 collaboration Chez Nous.

His styles cover a broad range, exploring bebop, swing, Latin and stylized ballads. As characterized by the late jazz historian and producer Herb Wong, “Dave Miller’s music is fresh as a new spring. The heart of his trio is a source of pure delight, and his imagination is invigorated by inspiration and springing joy.”