At a time when many people spend more time with their screens than others, Sammy Miller and the Congregation are committed to uplifting listeners and bringing communities together through ‘joyful jazz.’ With a master’s degree from The Julliard School under his belt, GRAMMY-nominated drummer Miller was primed to recruit his jazz ensemble, a top-notch lineup with Ben Flocks on sax, Sam Crittenden on trombone, David Linard on piano and John Snow on bass. Together, the group creates feel-good, uplifting party jazz, a sound that Miller hopes will spread joy and spark a sense of community and connection among its audiences. The Congregation’s style is raw, brassy and has the same “get up and dance” feel as a New Orleans street parade. Outside of their regular performances, the group is passionate about arts education, and they regularly work with communities across the country to bring jazz to students of all ages.
Sammy Miller and the Congregation brings together musicians who have performed and recorded with many notable artists including Wynton Marsalis, Lady Gaga and Queen Latifah at venues including the White House, Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl. Together, The Congregation was selected by the award-winning theatre incubator Ars Nova for the “Makers Lab” in 2017 to develop their genre-bending show, “Great Awakening.”
Ben Maney is a pianist-keyboardist, singer-songwriter and composer based in Knoxville, Tenn. Playing a mix of folk, jazz, indie, classical and blues, Maney will be accompanied by Marcel Holman on sax, David Becher on bass, Martin Hodge on drums and Jake Smith on guitar.