Dave Miller Trio

Performing at The MostArts Festival Evening Concert Series

Father-daughter duo Rebecca DuMaine and Dave Miller have been performing together since 2010 and regularly make the rounds at some of the most notable jazz clubs across the country. Just two years following the release of their critically acclaimed record "Just Imagine," and together with the rest of Dave's trio, they are set to perform at the MostArts Festival Evening Concert Series.

Dave Miller portrait

Dave Miller began playing the piano at the age of 3. He was strongly influenced by his maternal grandmother, a concert pianist, and was encouraged by his parents to pursue musical study at a young age. Grounded initially in classical music, Miller gravitated to jazz as a teenager and never looked back although his classical roots remained an essential element of his jazz orientation. He was influenced most by the stylings of pianists George Shearing and Bill Evans while also appreciating the artistry of Errol Garner, Ahmad Jamal and Oscar Peterson.

After college Miller decided to pursue a law degree. Following a judicial clerkship he relocated from his native New York to San Francisco. Thereafter for nearly half a century Miller led dual lives, practicing law by day where, among other clients, he served as general counsel to the authority that operates the world renowned Golden Gate Bridge, and performing gigs at night. In addition to Bay Area club dates, Miller played on multiple occasions at U.S. Senate Democratic caucus retreats, in New York City for private events and at regional political events.

Over the years Miller performed largely in a trio format. Renowned bassist, Mario Suraci, whose credits range from Frank Sinatra and Buddy Rich to Elvis Presley, was at his side for nearly two decades. Currently Chuck Bennett holds that position. Percussionist Bill Belasco has been his other rhythm section member for more than 30 years.

Miller has been a longstanding Summit Records recording artist. His trio’s 2010 recording, Rapture, received wide praise as it reached top 15 radio airplay rating. During the past decade Miller’s trio has been joined by his daughter, vocalist Rebecca DuMaine, on his regular gigs and on 5 Summit releases, most recently their highly acclaimed 2019 collaboration, Chez Nous.

Miller’s latest trio recording date is a centennial tribute to the late pianist and composer George Shearing. Released in October, 2019, this album steadily climbed the charts while receiving a wide array of favorable print media reviews. “A dead, solid perfect jazz piano man from NoCal…capturing the flashpoint that brought bebop to the nascent suburbs, Miller loves his work and we love him for it. Killer stuff on Shearing classics” (Chris Spector, Midwest Record)

Miller’s stylings cover a broad range. His repertoire explores bebop, swing, latin and stylized ballads. As characterized by renowned jazz historian and producer, the late 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.”

Rebecca DuMaine

Rebecca DuMaine trusts songs. A jazz vocalist whose beautiful sound is matched by her exquisite taste, she’s an incisive interpreter of classic American standards who’s steeped in the tradition but not bound by it. With her keen ear for drama and supple sense of phrasing she uncovers new emotional terrain whether exploring familiar fair or the American Songbook’s back pages. Since returning to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2010, she’s emerged as one of the most rewarding song stylists in a region renowned for its brimming pool of jazz vocal talent.

“I’m always trying to find a song that has a lyric that I can make my own,” says DuMaine. “I really love discovering these unmined gems from the American Songbook, songs that aren’t overplayed. And if a song is well known, I love finding an obscure verse or playing it a different way, interpreting a swing tune as a bossa nova, or swinging a ballad.”

Over the past six years DuMaine has released a series of acclaimed albums for Summit Records accompanied by the lithe and indefatigably swinging Dave Miller Trio, starting with 2011’s impressive debut Deed I Do. She followed up two years later with Better Than Anything, a cohesive collection of songs that, writes SoundStage, “always sparkle and often sizzle.” Her release in 2015 was The Consequence of You. As Bruce Crowther notes in Jazz Mostly, her co-billing with the trio is apt as “this is not a singer with backing group but a quartet of like-minded musicians wholly in tune with one another and with the music they perform."

Bill Belasco playing the drums

Bill started drumming at the age of three. He played in various school groups and orchestras until he went on the road with “The Graduates”, a brass rock band that played all over the country at the age of 17. In 1974 Bill settled in The Bay Area where he studied with exceptional teachers George Marsh and Tony Williams.

After playing drums with the Pickle Family Circus for fifteen years, Bill has been continually adding musical diversity to his repertoire by playing with such diverse groups as Patrick Maier, Majestic Swing, The Sharmen Duran Trio and The Dave Miller Trio that included legendary bassist, Mario Suraci.

Bill has studied timbales with the great Louie Romero from Masacote and Afro-Cuban theory with Michael Spiro. Having a long love affair with Afro-Cuban rhythms Bill has realized a dream with The Kenny Dorham Project playing at Yoshi’s and Pearl’s.

Bill also performed 7 summers in The Catskills in New York with Speedy Garfin and The Garfin Gathering, a variety show band, from 2001 to 2007. Bill has been a member of the Dave Miller Trio for more than thirty years and has been the percussionist on all of Dave’s instrumental recordings as well as the trio albums featuring Rebecca DuMaine.

Chuck Bennett playing the standing bass

An experienced acoustic bassist, Chuck Bennett has played with Tom Scott, Art Pepper, Pete Christlieb, Wesla Whitfield, and Mike Greensil, plus has many recordings with Bay Area singers and performers. Chuck has released several CDs with Denny Berthiaume and Curt Moore, including a jazz version of The Wizard of Oz.

In addition to playing the bass, Chuck has toured with Louis Bellson, Pearl Bailey, The Righteous Brothers, The Beach Boys, Maynard Ferguson, Cold Blood and more playing the trombone. He has extensive recording experience in Los Angeles and San Francisco, performing for films, records, commercials and live radio. From 1976 to 2000, Chuck played dozens of Broadway shows at the Golden Gate and Orpheum Theaters. He's played with The Woody Herman Band, Harry Connick Jr., McCoy Tyner, Tony Bennett, George Shearing, Cleo Laine and many others.

Chuck is a founding member of the Bay Area Jazz Composers Orchestra and the contemporary Jazz Orchestra and is currently playing with Tony Corman's Morchestra.

Born November 6, 1944, in Santa Monica, CA, Chuck holds a BA in music from the University of California at Los Angeles, a degree he earned in 1966. He's been a professional musician since then and has been a proud San Francisco resident since 1973.

Reviews of David Miller Trio "Just Imagine" Recording

“This is a fine, pleasurable album with clean, vibrant music reminiscent of George Shearing.” (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)

“The sure sign of an accomplished pianist is not only ion the ability to interpret a variety of compositions, but also by playing in several combinations and as a solo performer. Dave Miller demonstrates this versatility…” (Pierre Giroux, Audiophile Audition)

“A dead, solid perfect jazz piano man from NoCal… capturing the flashpoint that brought bebop to the nascent suburbs, Miller loves his work and we love him for it. Killer stuff on Shearing classics.” (Chris Spector, Midwest Record)

“A must for those who love straight ahead jazz." (Patrick Van De Wiele, Keysand Chords)

“A fine West Coast piano trio with excellent bop, swing, straight ahead and modern chops…You have high blood pressure? Here’s some organic ‘medicine’ to help with that.” (Thomas “Biz” Bisard, WNMC, Traverse City, Michigan)

“Delightful and exquisitely performed is also an apt description of the music on Just Imagine. The Dave Miller Trio has produced a marvelous recording.” (Ron Weinstock, In a Blue Mood)