Allison Miller, the amazing drummer, composer and bandleader, has two prime dates set for December out here, at Kuumbwa on Dec. 9 and at Yoshi’s on Dec. 14. But the economics of jazz are such that her tour will not recoup. She will be doing these dates as an investment in her future, for fun, for her fans, for the gods and goddesses of art, jazz and music (but not, apparently, for the gods of commerce), etc. So she sent out this plea to her fanbase, which I am reprinting, to be her, ahem, ally:
I’ve got a really fun event coming up in Brooklyn (at Littlefield). We are throwing a fundraiser party called BOOM BOOM OR BUST! We hope to raise some money to help get my band, BOOM TIC BOOM, out west for our December 2010 West Coast Tour. High travel costs and tour expenses are putting us deep in the red. But, I am determined to not let this stop us! So, I am throwing a little party. Come out and party with me! There will be dancing, special performances from my favorite artists, yummy treats, raffle prizes (grand prize… a weekend at a beautiful B&B in Vermont), a silent auction, and more dancing!
Emcee: Elizabeth Ziff from BETTY
Toshi Reagon and Allison Miller, Catherine Russell, Shelley Nicole, Pyeng Threadgill, Christina Courtin and Ryan Scott, BETTY, Victoria Libertore, Mayra Casales, Christelle Durandy, Jeff Lederer/Tina Richerson/Rene Hart/Art Hirihara
… and, a very special secret guest! and… the most electrifying DJ on the planet! DJ Rimarkable… “The DJ who saved your life last night!”
Wednesday, November 3rd. (8pm-1am)
performances starting at 9pm
622 Degraw St. (between 3rd and 4th Ave in Gowanus)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
She does not mention that her West Coast tour band will include Myra Melford on piano, Todd Sickafoose on bass and Jenny Scheinman on violin — quite a crew. They are also playing LA, Portland (at Jim Brunberg’s Mississippi Studios) and Mill Valley.
If I have more time I will go back and research who all those people are. I am guessing the “special guest” is either Ani DiFranco or Natalie Merchant, Alli’s most famous employers — she gets great sidework when not leading her own crew. Or Brandi Carlisle even (does SHE jazz?)
I met Allison Miller in October, 2000 when as part of the Rachel Z Trio she played my Cubberley Series, and we have enjoyed a nice correspondence in the ensuing ten years.
So be a pal and hit Paypal for Alli, whether or not you can make one or more of those gigs. (If my links don’t go through, there is a better link on her homepage).
Edit to add, June 22, day after Solstice, about 8 months later: This is my least-read blog post, so I thought I would give it a little more love. Allison Miller
is playing at Yoshi’s later this week, behind vocalist Kitty Margolis
, June 24. Then she is artist in residence at Jazz Camp West
, in La Honda, which sounds like a great program, put on I believe by the founders of Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. I am tempted to enroll on the strength of the fact that my girlfriend Terry Acebo Davis, the visual artist and arts commissioner, gave me a set of bongo drums for my birthday. The camp takes musicians of all levels, so I can work on my hand-drums. Also, I do occasionally do that Beat Hotel Rm 32 tribute to Howl thing, which is basically reading a poem aloud, to improvised accompaniment so maybe I could sit in on some vocals or performance anxiety workshops. (I did also sing with the Foothill College chorus, in 2002). I thought of Alli also while watching a lady from Berkelee who plays drums and dances, on a tv reality show.
When I met Allison in 2000, she also played Pete Douglas’ Bach Dancing and Dynamite that same visit — they were probably their anchor, for Rachel Z trio. Allison and I somehow hit it off, although she was in a relationship at the time, our friendship was musical, professional; we ended up jogging together up in Half Moon Bay, on the airport runway there, strangely enough. So I hope she recalls all that while hanging in nearby La Honda, although it was many moons, and twice as many half-moons ago. Kitty also played the Cub, on a bill with Danilo Perez (featuring Luciana Souza) during that same season.
I have recently fantasized about going to Europe with Cake, going to Chicago to see Rupa Marya at Millenium Park, so I can at least pretend to more realistically play bongo drums in La Honda at Jazz Camp West.
Alli, Myra and Sick at Ars Nova Philly somwhat recentlike: