2014 Chicago Independent Music Awards – 6th place nominee for Best Blues/Jazz Artist.
GETTING TO KNOW DEBRA HOPE MILLER
By Jacqueline Jax– Host A.V.A Live Radio
Getting Started in Music…
Loved listening to many styles of music for many years…blues, jazz, rock and more. In college, got exposed more to classical music… Originally studied classical music at Chicago Musical College which is part of Roosevelt University in late 70’s to 80’s. Studied classical piano and music theory. Then took many years off to pursue businesses I was involved in. Fast forward to year 2004, studied with a boogie-woogie piano player named Erwin Helfer. Then in 2005, played in some blues bands in Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. Before and after 2005, started composing, writing lyrics and songs on my own. Have a musical background, but never took any songwriting or composing classes.
“Cat Walk Boogie”
is a tribute to all “cool cats” out there. I composed it on the piano one day when my two real cats, Buffy and Max were next to me at my piano. And the music just came out of me and I named it Cat Walk Boogie©. And I came up with a poem at the same time when wrote my piece. It’s called “Buffy Blues and Boogie Woogie Max…Two Cool Cats”©. And that is a children’s book that will be coming out in April or May this year where the storyline ends saying…”So get on your Cat Walk dancing shoes and see why all cool cats including Buffy Blues and Boogie Woogie Max learn this tune!” Everyone who purchase this book, will have access to a free download of my “Cat Walk Boogie” piece. So that is the story behind my piece Cat Walk Boogie.
I live in a suburb just north of Chicago, Illinois, USA. The music scene in Chicago is great. The fun thing I like to do is play piano or be with my cats.
If had to say one for the blues would be Ray Charles. But have so many artists I love in different genres of music. Did see Ray Charles and an orchestra play with him many years ago when was at a convention for the business work for.
I don’t really look at the latest current trends. To me, good music is good music no matter what’s in vogue or not.
Doing what you love doing and hopefully making a career out of that.
Pianist/Composer/Singer-Songwriter/Arranger/Author. Boogie-woogie, Blues to Classical! 6th Place Nominee for Best Blues/Jazz Artist, 2014 Chicago Independent Music Awards.
In 2004, Debra Hope Miller…aka Little Debra, got hooked on the blues and boogie-woogie old time piano playing. She emersed herself in the style. Prior to that time, she played mainly classical piano and a little jazz.
With her first CD, Cat Walk Boogie and Blues, Debra plays tribute to old classic blues and boogie-woogie piano from the past. The CD title comes from her original piano piece, Cat Walk Boogie.
As a composer, pianist and singer/songwriter, Debra writes in many styles. Her composition Sea of Clouds, combines her piano playing with her singing in a classical/pop type composition. Her composition, Spanish Interlude in G, is a classical composition she composed for piano and had separately orchestrated for piano and ensemble. Her Piano Concerto in Eb Major is a one movement concerto she wrote and was orchestrated by her nephew, Tyler Katz. And Conversations from Within is another classical piano piece of Debra’s combining classical with a kind of new age feel with Debra on piano.
And then back to her blues/pop/jazz side can be heard with her songs What is Freedom to Me, The Meaning of Life (is Within Every One of Us), I Thought Friends Were Forever, I Got the Blues, Parking Meter Blues and other songs she has written.