More stuff about Ron (return to previous page)
A Brief Musical History
Born in Springfield, Mass., Ron was raised in Hollywood, Fla., and after graduating from South Broward High School he attended Florida State University in Tallahassee where he studied Music Education and Music Theory. Of significance, this is the time that Ron was exposed to and subsequently influenced by Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" recording.
High school, FSU days
With a desire to be involved in the professional performing world, Ron left FSU after two years to 'go on the road.' Ron was a member of a jazz-oriented Rock/Show band The Showstoppers, that after spending time in Reno and Lake Tahoe, settled in New York City where they had a steady gig performing at the Headliner Club located on Broadway at Times Square. Much of Ron's important early jazz education occurred in NY City from the weekly Monday night attendance at Birdland to be within scent of the 'heavies' of the time: the Jazz Messengers with Freddie, Wayne, Cedar et al; the Cannonball Sextet with Zawinul, Yusef, et al; the burning John Coltrane Quartet playing 'Favorite Things' for an hour and ten minutes...and many more very influential musicians. Of course, the many fine museums, restaurants, and jam sessions along with the general NY 'vibe' all left their mark on Ron's development.
Missing his 'home' area and weather, Ron returned to South Florida to play many jazz and commercial gigs while studying Computer Programming to have a back-up career to trying to earn a living as a jazz musician. It was during this period that Ron enjoyed a musical association with reclusive saxophonist Jerry Greene. The band, which included drummer Al Ashley and bassist Darell Chenowith, played at the famed jazz club The Rancher Lounge opposite the Ira Sullivan band with Joe DiOrio, Steve Gilmore, Steve Bagby, and Vince Maggio. It was during this period that Ron had the special experience of playing with Charlie Austin and Dave Nuby at the famous Hampton House motel. Special as well was the band that Ron had with gifted alto sax player, Bobbie Mover, then, only 18, playing on a regular basis at Stan's lounge on Commercial Blvd., in Ft. Lauderdale, along with bassist Bob Schultz and drummer Pete Helman..
Listen to Ron's tune, Bead Jive, recorded live at The Rancher Lounge.
Other bands Ron played with included: Steve Tognoli, Dick Conant, Marty Goldinher, Walter Bernard, Bob Smith, Pete Hellman, Randy Carter, Frank Bartley, Lou Stath, et al;
Listen to one of Ron's earliest compositions: Ala-nor played by the band with Steve Tognoli and Dick Conant. note: hit your back button to leave the qucktime player.
Military duty cut all short and when Ron completed active duty he returned to South Florida where he continued playing and studying - this time studying music. After earning a BFA degree in Theory-Composition from FAU, Ron attended the University of Miami where upon being conferred the Master's degree in Theory-Composition, Ron continued on as a faculty member of the then evolving UM Jazz Studies department.
As a graduate student at the UM, Ron formed a band with then students Mark Colby, Mark Egan, Billy Bowker, Stan Samole, and Steve Goldstein; the band continued when Ron was a faculty member until the 'guys' eventually graduated and established their careers.
The Miller/Colby Band
Subsequent bands included members Steve Rucker, Bobby Meyer, Jeff Carswell, Steve Watson, Jeff Kirk, and many more until a band with good friend and now faculty member at the UM, Gary Keller was formed which included Barry Ries and Don Coffman, also a faculty member at the UM. Recent bands have included John Yarling and Bill Pace. All the bands have recorded, but none with commercially produced CDs. There are many CDs available in the UM library that are self-produced and are important for their archival value.
The Miller/Rucker Band:
The Eighties and Nineties
Of recent times, the Miller/Keller (or Keller/Miller) band has had the good fortune to have held down a steady jazz gig playing original and standard repertoire for more than two years at a Hollywood, Fl. venue called One Night Stan's. The band included Bill Pace on bass, and John Yarling on drums, two of the burningest of S. Florida's rhythm section guys. The high-point of the gig was the night Dave Liebman performed with the group: the place was packed, all ready to hear some totally frightening and burning playing which is what there was thanks to Dave and his spiritual leadership.
Of course, there were some pathetic but well-meaning beginners sitting in but most were friends – great players; and the most advanced students from the University of Miami. A partial listing of these folks would include: Art Surloff, Jason Carder, Filipe Lamoglia, Carlos Vega, Chris Klingelhoffer, Tom Lippincott, Gottfried Stoger, Chuck Bergeron, Alex Berti, Rich Hancock, Rick... and many more; and who could forget SWEET!
The New Century
Other Important events of those times(ca 2004-5), include a duet concert performed by Ron with Spain's premier composer and guitarist Santi Quintans in Santo Domingo. It turned out to be an unbelievably great 'hang' and the crowd loved the performance. If the reader knows the Dominican Republic, he or she is very aware of the quality of the rum, the Presidente beer, and the cigars...and the folks who are so warm and enthusiastic. The other important event was the performance in the East Village at the jazz club, Detour, by Ron's group that included: Julia Dollison, Jason Carder, Bill Pace, Gary Keller, Matt Henkle, and special guest sitting in, Rick Margitza.
For info as to what is happening Right Now, of course, all the remaining pages of this site will address that, but for music specifically, visit this page: ronmillerjazz.
Ron has been married for 45 years to Ruth and has a daughter Heidi who is a computer graphics consultant.
Ron and Ruth live in Dania Beach, Fl. and enjoy the beautiful beach and nature preserve there, they also enjoy canoeing, hiking, and traveling in general.