Latest Press

"Miles is Chicago's best kept of the leading lights of contemporary instrumental music." 
- Midwest Record


10 LIVE VIDEO CLIPS with some of the world's greatest musicians--Darol Anger on violin, Corky Siegel on harmonica, Erkan Ogur of Turkey and many more. 



New Releases

A-sides CD

Fingerstyle guitar with Darol Anger on violin 


Two New Hal Leonard books



To Play on the Banjo 
(co-written with Greg Cahill)


CD's On Sale




Existential Banjo, Episode 7 is "Hasna Ya Leila" (sometimes spelled Layla) featuring Azia Samaoui playing the ngoni.  This West African instrument is one of the great elder statesmen of the banjo.  It is literally, a hollowed-log, broomstrick neck, and three strings made of fishing twine.  

Existential Banjo, Episode 6.  "1952 Vincent Black Lightning"  by Richard Thompson played live at Chicago City Winery and featuring Geraldo de Oliveira, percussion and John Abbey, bass.  Next week, Episode 7 features Moroccan ngoni player, Aziz Samaoui playing a tune named Hasna ya Leila.  

Here is Existential Banjo, Episode 5.  This is the classic Allman Bros tune, Midnight Rider featuring Darol Anger, one of America's very finest violinists.  

EXISTENTIAL BANJO, Episode 4 features the beautiful cello playing of Nora Barton from the Chicago Arts Orchestra and the Classical Revolution.  Please SHARE this video with your pals, and SUBSCRIBE TO YOUTUBE so that you won't miss a single episode of the The Existential Banjo coming every Tuesday morning.  Episode 5 is the Midnight Rider with Darol Anger.  Episode 6 is 1952 Vincent Black Lightning live the Chicago City Winery.    


Here is Existential Banjo, Episode 3:  MTA featuring Tony Trischka, arguably one of the greatest banjoists the world has ever known. One of his important early influences was the Kingston Trio and their version of the MTA.   But in his storied career, it has never been recorded until now.  

Existential Banjo, Episode 2
"People Get Ready" by Curtis Mayfield
Performance at City Winery featuring Sue Demel on vocals, John Abbey on bass and Geraldo de Oliveira on percussion.   PLEASE SHARE!!

Season 1, Episode 1

Dylan for Clawhammer 

Bob Dylan for Clawhammer Banjo is now available here.   The book includes 14 Dylan tunes arranged as instrumental renderings of Dylan's amazing work.   Tunes include All Along The Watchtower, Tangled Up In Blue, Mr. Tambourine Man, Positively 4th Street, Blowin' in the Wind and more.   While there is no audio officially included in the book, click below for a living room bootleg sample of what your banjo could sound like playing Dylan.   ORDER YOURS HERE


Banjo master Michael J. Miles takes on Walt Whitman and jazz

Howard Reich - Jazz Critic

Chicago banjo whiz Michael J. Miles has launched some strange, ambitious ventures through the years. He has penned a "Yellowbird Concerto" for banjo and orchestra, transformed music of blues pioneer Robert Johnson and jazz master Dave Brubeck and transcribed for his soft-spoken instrument two monuments of classical music: cello suites of Johann Sebastian Bach. The man clearly does not dream small.   Read more

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