Sammy Miller and The Congregation to bring joyful jazz to the Palladium


Sammy Miller’s chief objective is to present jazz in a way that will appeal to more people.

“We’re on a mission to spread joy. It doesn’t stop for anything,” Miller said. “It’s bigger than us. Whether it’s an educational thing I’m doing or performing in a concert hall, I feel more motivated than ever, and the rest of the guys do, too.”

Sammy Miller and the Congregation will perform at 8 p.m. April 19 at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

“I’m the drummer, I’m the bandleader, I’m the storyteller,” said Miller, a Los Angeles native who lives in New York. “We do a high-energy interactive show. It’s joyful jazz. It’s going to lift your spirit. We’re the gateway for jazz. We have a lot of access points. There is a theatrical component.”

The band started in 2014 when Miller was in his last year at The Juilliard School. 

“We’re in it for life,’ Miller said of the band. “There is enough hardship in life. We want to surround it with beauty.”

The other members of the five-piece band performing at the Palladium will consist of Alphonso Horne, trumpet; Brandon Rose, bass; David Linard, piano; and Artie Black, tenor saxophone. Miller has performed with Horne and Linard, who is from Indianapolis, since he was at Juilliard.

“You might hear a Scott Joplin song like ‘The Entertainer,’” he said. “You might hear a Duke Ellington piece. You might hear an original piece. You really hear a whole canon of American music. It’s high-level entertainment.”

Although this is the band’s first time at the Palladium, it has performed in Indianapolis several times at The Jazz Kitchen.

“We mostly play concert halls, but we’ve always had a good time there,” Miller said. “We’ve heard the Palladium is really special and a great place for musicians.”

Miller said the setlist is ever changing, also with some staples.

“We are always working on new stuff and playing new arrangements,” he said. “We’re trying to track the lineage of jazz. It’s like putting new wine in an old bottle.”

The band’s most recent digital release is “Live at Lincoln Center. It released “Little Egypt” in 2020.

Performing live is what is most important to the band.

“Live performance is what I’m interested in,” Miller said. “We have enough happening in the digital world. I’m really interested in human experiences. That’s what our core is. There have been years when we have done 250 shows.”

For tickets, visit For more, visit