Steel Bands attract crowds, so get ready to get in line for the one from Walla Walla University featuring Tom Miller on Sunday at 7:00 pm. The Gesa Power House Theatre at 111 N. Sixth Avenue will be home for the evening to the guest artist widely-known as a top drum soloist. His accomplishments are legion and include performing, composing, arranging, and educating students in the lively musical genre.
He is highly sought-after making it a coup for the Gesa to obtain his services. Miller has a solid reputation among steel band aficionados. They follow his travels around the world with his popular group, Pan Ramajay, and various attendant masters such as Andy Narell, Jeff Narell, Ray Holman, Robert Greenridge, Liam Teague, Othello Molineaux and the Our Boys Steel Orchestra. It makes for an impressive experience. He is also the founder and president of Pan Ramajay Productions, among the top steel drum music publishing companies. Fans well know him for producing and mixing critically-acclaimed recordings for his group and master pannist Ray Holman of the Chabot Panhandlers Steel Orchestra and the Miami University Steel Band.
In addition, fans acknowledge that he has worked with renowned Calypsonian David Rudder; bass sensation Michael Manring; woodwind virtuoso Paul McCandless; Germany’s famed WDR jazz ensemble; and the San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Orchestra. He has long been a member of the Windham Hill recording group of Montreux.
There’s more! Miller has numerous recordings to his credit offering his musical percussive styling to the albums of Grammy award winners Allison Krause and the late John Denver; blues sensation Charlie Musselwhite; and Allison Brown, and Maria Marquez, Venezuelan songstress. You can hear him on film scores for “Commando,” “Nina Takes a Lover” and “The Mystic Masseur,” as well as in ads for Minute Maid, Sony, Brodia.com, “The Sims” computer games, and more.
Miller’s resumé is extensive. In the arena of composing, grants have come his way from the prestigious Meet the Composer Foundation a whopping five times, enabling him to the write, perform, and enlighten audiences about steel drums and percussion. Education is high on his priority list leading him to participate in a variety of artist-in-residence programs offered by US universities and colleges. Along these lines, Miller holds a position as adjunct faculty at the Lamont School of Music (University of Denver) and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. Last but not least, he serves as the curriculum director of the Mannette Steel Drum Workshop in Morgantown, West Virginia.