After appearing professionally on the stage, Mark auditioned for and won a scholarship to study music full time at Los Angeles City College from drummer David Alpert. While singing in an honors concert at LACC he came to the attention of Los Angeles Jazz Society founder Teri Merril-Aarons, who began booking him into the top venues in town. His frequent collaborator was pianist Gildo Mahones (Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Lorez Alexandria, Lou Rawls.) He was a member of the Dean's Honor List and won the Robert V. Altheuser scholarship for vocal choral performance. Mark was the featured vocalist for the Jazz Caravan, a series of performances in the LA Unified School District emceed by legendary DJ Chuck Niles. After meeting Page Cavanagh at a jam session, Miller began booking, recording, and performing with Cavanaugh. Miller was tapped by legendary artist manager Alan Eichler to appear in a series of performances with Anita O’Day. Scott Yanow in Music Connection Magazine called him “A superior vocalist, one of LA’s finest.” Michael Feinstein called his interpretations "joyful, swinging, and a pleasure to hear."
Miller recorded his debut CD "Dreamer With a Penny" with pianists Page Cavanaugh, Joyce Collins, and Jane Getz. He also began working behind the scenes as a live music booker and promoter. For seven years he curated a Sunday night jazz series at Chaya Brasserie in Beverly Hills, where he presented up and coming newcomers like Sara Gazarek, Kris Bowers, Josh Nelson, Graham Dechter, Kathleen Grace and Margo Rey, among many established artists like Page Cavanaugh, Betty Bryant, Jennifer Leitham, Julie Kelly, and so many more. For two years he booked music at Il Moro on the West Side where he presented, among others, Peter Erskine and the revered LA based pianist/singer Dini Clarke.
In recent years Miller has worked independently and with Corniche Entertainment as a music booker and promoter. He programmed the popular summer music series at Descanso Gardens for 12 years where he presented Aubrey Logan, Bob Mintzer, Kristin Korb, Barbara Morrison and many more. Through Corniche Entertainment he has helped manage the career of popular bandleader Louie Cruz Beltran. Through Corniche he has worked with the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, The Dubai International Jazz Festival, Blues Alley in Washington, DC, Jazz Alley in Seattle, the City of West Hollywood and the prestigious LA Made series at the Grand Central Library in Los Angeles where he worked with NEA Jazz Master Hubert Laws and presented Josh Nelson's mixed media event, "The Sky Remains." He presented multi-Grammy nominated artist Denise Donatelli at Jazz Alley in Seattle, and was Associate Producer of four LA Vida Music Festivals at the Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood, working with Poncho Sanchez and Hubert Laws. Mark and has booked literally hundreds of evenings of music in luxury hotels, concert venues and upscale restaurants and nightclubs.
His 2015 recording "Crazy Moon" featured Josh Nelson on piano, Dave Robaire on bass and Sammy Miller on drums, with guest artists Bob Sheppard, Ron Stout, Larry Koonse, and Billy Hulting. "Crazy Moon" spent 4 months on the national jazz radio charts and was named one of the top 15 releases of the year by Jazz History Online.
Mark's third CD "Music in the Air" features piano and arrangements by Jamieson Trotter, Mike Gurrola on bass and Kevin Winard on drums with Larry Koonse on guitar and Danny Janklow on alto sax. More information here.
In response to the lockdowns and loss of venues, Mark, along with other LAJS board members launched Los Angeles Jazz Society Presents, presenting paid streaming concerts for musicians worldwide. Mark personally hosted performances and post show Q&A sessions with Gerald Clayton, Peter Erskine, Daniel Rotem, Michael Mayo, Josh Nelson, Sara Gazarek, Will Brahm, and John Storie, among many others.
In addition to his career behind the scenes, Miller continues to perform regularly in Southern California and Seattle and made his New York debut at Midday Jazz Manhattan at historic St. Peter’s church. Miller studied piano at Los Angeles City College, and privately with Jane Getz and Joyce Collins. He continues to evolve as a pianist, striving to inform his vocals with a solid fundamental knowledge of chord function and theory, and performs occasionally at the keyboard. It is the discipline and focus of his piano studies that he most values.