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James Miley

Chair; Irene Gerlinger Swindells Professor of Music; Music/Sound for Visual Media, Composition, Jazz Studies & Improvisation; Director of the Ford Hall Digital Music Lab and Recording Studios

Headshot of James Miley

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Rogers Music Center 111
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301


PIANIST/COMPOSER James Miley has taught at Willamette University since 2009, where he presently serves as coordinator of the Jazz and Improvised Music program, directs the Ford Hall Digital Music Lab and Recording Studios, and teaches courses in composition, improvisation, music theory & history, and music/sound for visual media. He is a founding member (along with composer/arrangers Patty Darling and the late Fred Sturm) of the Radiohead Jazz Project, and his music for jazz big band has been performed internationally, as well as by many of the top high school and university big bands throughout the United States. As an improvising pianist, Miley can be heard with the jazz chamber group Bug (featuring saxophonist Peter Epstein), the Hashem Assadullahi Sextet with Ron Miles, and Dan Cavanagh's Jazz Emporium Big Band, all on Origin Records. His most recent recordings include the free improvisation collective Trio Untold, featuring Mike Nord (guitar/electronics) and Ryan Biesack (drums/percussion), available on PJCE Records, and an album of original music with pianist Dan Cavanagh and Grammy-nominated drummer/composer John Hollenbeck, released in November, 2022, on S/N Alliance out of Tokyo, Japan. He holds degrees in Music from Occidental College, the University of Arizona, and the University of Oregon, with additional coursework in jazz studies and composition at CalArts and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Most recent recording: Another Life, with Dan Cavanagh (piano/elec) and John Hollenbeck (drums/perc), S/N Alliance SNL003 (2022).

Additional Recordings:

The Commission Project, JazzMN Orchestra (Momentous Records, 2019)
Trio Untold, Trio Untold (PJCE Records, 2018)
The Optimist, Bug (Next Room Records, 2015)
Pieces, The Hashem Assadullahi Sextet (OA2 Records, 2013)
Confronting Inertia, John Adler (Origin Classical, 2010)
The Gadfly, Bug (Origin Records, 2009)
Pulse, Dan Cavanagh's Jazz Emporium Big Band (OA2 Records, 2008)

Willamette University

Music Department

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6260 FAX