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.”