Sammy Miller and the Congregation

Friday, January 26

153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck, NY, United States


Event Description

If you didn’t get to see Sammy Miller and The Congregation’s incredible show last January, you have another chance to see why this Brooklyn-based group is tearing up the jazz scene in New York and all over the world. So good was their inspired reimagining of the standards “Big Rock Candy Mountain” and “Lil’ Liza Jane”, that they’ve been invited back to the Emelin this season for not one, but two events.

The GRAMMY nominated drummer Sammy Miller formed The Congregation — a line-up of drums, guitar, piano, sousaphone, trumpet, trombone, tenor and soprano sax — in 2014. Independently the band members have performed and recorded with notable artists including Wynton Marsalis, Iron and Wine, and Jason Mraz at venues including the White House, Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl.

In 2015, Lincoln Center named The Congregation an “Emerging Artist of the Year,” and Vanity Fair included them in “Jazz Youth-Quake,” a list of up-and-coming jazz artists. This year, Ars Nova selected Miller and his group for the 2017 ‘Makers Lab’ – a 12-month creative residency – to produce their original theater jazz show, Great Awakening.

The band holds a monthly, late-night residency at Lincoln Center where they try out new material. A big proponent of experimentation, Miller and his band have tackled everything from Stephen Foster’s 19th century parlor songs to Jelly Roll Morton’s ragtime classics to Whitney Houston’s singles. “We take deep responsibility and try to present something meaningful every night,” Miller says. “We’re really trying to push ourselves.”  

As a drummer, singer and bandleader, the young Miller has become known for his relentless focus on making music that feels good. The band is focused on sharing the power of community through their music — joyful jazz – to entertain, enrich and most of all uplift. “You used to see this happiness in early jazz and, somehow, we got away from it,” says the 26-year-old Los Angeles native. “You hear joyfulness in all the old records, [and] we like being a part of that lineage.”

Education is very important to the Los Angeles native who earned his master’s degree at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, which is why he builds school performances and programs into the band’s touring schedule. Miller and The Congregation teach masterclasses and multi-week residency programs in schools across the country covering everything from the history of jazz to how to play the trombone. In fact this time, on their way to the Emelin, they’ll be stopping at Mamaroneck High School to teach a masterclass in the hope of inspiring a whole new generation of jazz enthusiasts.



“This is feel-good party jazz, harking back to the ’20s and ’30s. It’s brassy, stomp your feet and dance music, and it’s got the raw, uplifting vibe of a New Orleans street parade.” – San Francisco Weekly

“The band’s locked-in grooves and explosive, soulful solos kept the audience enthralled long after the stroke of 12.” –

“Upon hearing the opening notes of “Mahogany Hall Stomp”, the lead track from Sammy Miller and the Congregation’s EP Say, Say, Say, I smiled wryly… their promise that I’d be uplifted was fulfilled.” – Columbus Underground


This engagement of Sammy Miller & the Congregation is made possible through the Jazz Touring Network program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Sammy Miller Masterclass at Mamaroneck High School

As they’ve done in countless schools throughout the country, Sammy Miller and the Congregation will be conducting a master class with local students from Mamaroneck High School’s Jazz Band. Sponsored by the Emelin.

Sponsored by

AJ Benet Insurance

Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation

Jazz Touring Network

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