In an industry where copycatting and contrivance is too often encouraged and true creativity and innovation is needed but not always rewarded, Jason Miles has stood his ground as a true musical visionary. From his groundbreaking synth programming on Miles Davis' 80s masterpieces Tutu, Music From Siesta and Amandla to his current partnership with DJ Logic and Falu in the pioneering global fusion group Global Noize, the Grammy Award winning New York native--dubbed by one insightful veteran journalist as the 'Quincy Jones of Contemporary Music'--has consistently brought the highest level of artistry to his multi-faceted recordings (as both producer and artist) and live performances.
Miles has not only helped shape the landscape of contemporary jazz, but also brought his rich sonic textures as a keyboardist, arranger and producer to artists in a multitude of genres, from R&B/pop to Latin Jazz, Brazilian music and even children's music and country (producing Suzy Boguss' Sweet Danger).
His many years of collaboration with Marcus Miller include not only the Miles Davis projects but also classic recordings by David Sanborn (A Change of Heart, Close Up, Upfront) and Luther Vandross (The Power of Love, Any Love, Give Me the Reason). Committed to pushing the envelope of sonic possibilities and bringing out the best in the artists and musicians he vibes with, Miles has worked over the years with a proverbial who's who of contemporary music: Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Michael Brecker, The Crusaders, Ruben Blades, Freddy Cole, George Benson, Joe Sample, Herb Alpert,Vanessa Williams, Grover Washington Jr, and Lea Salonga.
In addition to conceiving, producing and arranging two very successful tribute recordings dedicated to Grover, Miles--who did the synth programming on Washington's 1987 album Strawberry Moon--has paid tribute to the late sax great in an even more intimate way: by producing and executive producing Grover Live, a 2010 issue of a live concert Washington performed at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill, New York in 1997. Miles' tireless work in bringing this recording to the public--thereby introducing the power of Washington's music to a new generation of contemporary jazz listeners--is reflective of his commitment to keeping the great music of the past alive while keeping his eye on and exploring exciting future possibilities.
Miles has also done this on stage in recent years by producing and performing at all-star shows at the Berks Jazz Fest in Reading, Pennsylvania. His Quincy Jones like ability to ensemble with the best musicians around have made these extravaganzas an integral part of the Berks experience; his shows have included live performances of Maximum Groove and Miles to Miles as well as tribute events celebrating Ivan Lins, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross and Grover.
Jason has performed at many great festivals and stages around the world: Monterey Jazz Festival, Jazz Aspen, Umbria Jazz, North Sea, Jacksonville Jazz Fest, Jazz Fest NOLA, Tokyo Blue Note to name a few.
In 2008, Global Noize, Miles' new group formed around his partnership with DJ Logic, released its self titled debut and performed at Berks and later at Jazz Fest in New Orleans; the live show included musicians from across the spectrum, including Christian Scott, John Popper, Bernie Worrell, Me'Shell Ndgeocello, Billy Martin, Suphala, Cyro Baptista and James Genus. Hailed by All Music Guide as 'the 2000s equivalent to the way Weather Report and Return to Forever drove the spirit of jazz fusion in the 70s,'Global Noize--driven in part by Miles' expansive, socially conscious vision--creates a boundary breaking, freewheeling swirl of jazz, funk, electronic, world fusion and blues that's all at once grounded, trippy and sensual, and - with the ethereal vocals of Falu - also transcendent and spiritual.
Looking back on his fascinating, far reaching career, Miles says, 'I've learned so much from the great players I have been fortunate enough to work with and they have made me a much better musician and person,' he adds. 'I'm always thinking about the listeners and the audience and how important it is to bring them something special that can make a difference in their lives. The industry has presented its challenges along the way, but there has been so much beauty among the disappointment. All I ever wanted was a chance to play music and make a living at it, and I'm grateful to have had these rich experiences, surrounded by so many talented and loving people. I wouldn't trade these moments for anything.'