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About this clip:
Drummer Sammy Miller and his band The Congregation perform their version of the immortal 1902 Scott Joplin rag “The Entertainer” during their concert on March 23, 2023 as part of the 2022-23 Season, broadcast on Fridays Live.
About the concert:
Drummer Sammy Miller makes no bones about it. He wants to bring jazz to the people and he’s found true believers in the young members of his six-piece Congregation, which returns for two nights in the Joe Henderson Lab.
Evangelists of swing, they’ve earned an avid New York City following by drawing on a century of American songs, inviting listeners in with familiar melodies and rollicking rhythms. Miller started assembling the Congregation in 2014 after earning a Master’s degree from Juilliard. The group honed an ecstatic approach to music-making playing late night sessions at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and Sundays at The Woods, a Brooklyn nightspot where they’re the only jazz act on the schedule.
After releasing their self-titled 2017 “mix tape” that includes enthralling renditions of folk tunes (“Lil’ Liza Jane”), spirituals (“Just A Closer Walk with Thee”), Jelly Roll Morton (“Black Bottom Stomp”) and Scott Joplin (“Maple Leaf Rag”), the band issued 2020’s Leaving Egypt, consisting primarily of original material, followed by the single “Who’s Back in Town?'' in 2021. And as superb as these recordings certainly are, they only suggest the unbridled energy and joy of their live shows. Converting new audiences and captivating longtime jazz fans, Miller and the Congregation make 21st century music by embracing some 150 years of American music – something they call “joyful jazz”.
Sammy Miller: drums, vocals
Alphonso Horne: trumpet
Ben Flocks: tenor saxophone
Molly Miller: guitar
Corbin Jones: bass, sousaphone
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***SFJAZZ is a non-profit organization that presents year-round jazz concerts, festivals and educational programs at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, CA.