Latest Press

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's personal letter of congratulations to Michael.  Click here!

"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




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

The Camerado Suite is a new composition for banjo, chamber orchestra and jazz choir featuring text by Walt Whitman.  The final stanza of "Song of the Open Road."   Chicago Tribune's jazz critic Howard Reich published a story about this today.  Click here to read story.  

On Friday, Jan 22 at 7:30pm CT, Chicago's PBS station WTTW will be running their story about my 25 year relationship and detailed written correspondence with Pete Seeger.   There is a permanent display at the Old Town School where all of the correspondence can be seen.   I was one of the many lucky ones who felt the powerful embrace of Pete Seeger's encouragement.  Click here for broadcast.

MICHAEL MILES in Concert with Chamber Orchestra and Chorale

Weds, Feb 3, 7:00pm at the Poetry Foundation
61 W. Superior, Chicago 

Featuring the Niles North High School Orchestra and Chorale performing the "Camerado Suite", a new composition by Michael Miles featuring the final stanza of Walt Whitman's "Song of the Open Road," set to music for banjo, chamber orchestra and chorale.   


While in Istanbul, I met these amazing Iranian musicians who have a community music school right near the university where we were doing our concerts and workshops.   In this video Sharhad Sidfar plays his 8 string saz, explains how microtonal maqams work, and allows me to join him in a duet with banjo and saz.  


(Photo.  Erkan Ogur with double-necked fretless guitar and in concert with Miles Trio)

The Miles Trio (with David Jennings, vibes and Geraldo de Oliveira, percussion) spent two weeks doing concerts and workshops in Istanbul.  We were there at the time of Ankara bombing, and experienced the other side of the world in crisis.   For the full story click here.   Miles_Trio_in_Istanbul.pdf

Miles Trio


This ensemble features my musical comrades David Jennings on vibes and drumset, along with Geraldo de Oliveira on hand percussion.  We are going to Istanbul in the fall and playing our very first concert as trio this Saturday, July 11 at 1pm at the Old Town School's Square Roots Festival.    Music includes original works, jazz, folk music, Bach, and Brazilian chorro.  

My new book from Hal Leonard, "Folk Songs For Banjo" is reviewed in the Dec 2014 issue of Banjo Newletter. 

"That these songs have endured for so long is testament to their quality. They are quintessential American folk songs arranged for the quintessential American folk instrument by a five-string master. This collection belongs on your banjo bookshelf."  

Tim Jumper, Banjo Newsletter                  Click here for the review:           Purchase a copy


My 25 year correspondence with Pete is both shown and told on the PBS program Chicago Tonight on WTTW in Chicago.  Click the link below for the full program which includes vintage footage of Pete as well the story of how it all came about.

MM & McEuen

Here are my musical heroes with whom I've had the pleasure of working with over the past few months.   Top row is John McEuen, founder of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band smiling with me and then playing my 107 year old banjo.  We had a little time before his performance in Milwaukee.   Next to him, I'm with Tony Trischka up at the Midwest Banjo camp.  Brilliant musician and banjo pioneer.  

In the second row is my choir, the Passages World Music Choir who are kids from my neighborhood in Chicago.   And the lower right hand corner picture is Darol Anger, violinist extraordinaire who was the first violinist in the David Grisman Quintet with Tony Rice and Mike Marshall.   These days he's at the Berklee College of Music.   We did a Creativity Workshop in Sedona AZ.  

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