This month, Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band welcomes guest composer John Mills!
John Mills is a saxophonist, composer and arranger based in the musical hotbed of Austin, Texas. A stalwart of that cityʼs diverse studio recording scene, he is also a core composer and woodwind performer in Texasʼ premiere experimental jazz aggregation, Tina Marsh and the CO2.
In his musical travels, Mills has performed as a soloist in concert with such jazz luminaries as Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler, backed such R&B icons as Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin on festival stages, and recorded with a spectrum of pop artists ranging from David Byrne to Los Lonely Boys.
He has written an extensive catalog of music for large jazz ensemble, much of it published, and his recognizable signature combines rhythmic drive with harmonic twists. One of his most recent works, If Memory Serves, won First Prize in the ArtEZ Jazz Composition Contest at the 2008 Grolsch International Jazz Festival in Enschede, the Netherlands. Johnʼs current writing activities also include works for pops orchestra, chamber music pieces, commercial media scoring and contemporary jazz settings of poetry.
Dr. John Mills is currently an Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Texas at Austinʼs Butler School of Music, where he teaches jazz saxophone, composition, arranging and history.