Director, Wellesley BlueJazz Big Band, and Jazz and World Music Program Director
Senior Music Performance Faculty in Jazz Saxophone; Director, Wellesley BlueJazz
Jazz saxophonist, composer, and bandleader. Teacher of jazz improvisation, saxophone and ensemble technique, jazz theory and history of jazz.
My teaching has been focused on three main areas: The first is instrumental technique for saxophone including sound production, extended performance practices such as altissimo and overtones, and mastery of dynamics and fingerings. Secondly, theory and pedagogy of jazz including scales, modes, chords, and harmony. I am an Assistant Professor in Ear Training at Berklee College of Music. Teaching jazz performance practice and ensemble techniques has also been a focus. Finally, I taught survey courses in jazz history at Northeastern University and Wellesley College and assisted in core curriculum jazz history courses at Harvard University.
I am an active jazz musician, composer, and sideman, performing with many groups and leading my own quartet, The Cercie Miller Quartet (CMQ). I am a co-founding member of Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet, an avant-garde sax quartet, and was a member of Girls' Night Out, a headlining pop-rock band. I have recorded with numerous artists including Patty Larkin, Didi Stewart, and Lisa Thorson, and Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet and I produced two CDs with my own group the CMQ. I received an NEA study grant to explore improvisation and composition with Jerry Bergonzi and David Liebman.
Outside of music, I enjoy hiking and back-packing, visiting national parks, and going to NYC to hear great jazz and go to museums and art galleries. I am also politically active when I can find the time!