Michael J. Miles
From Senegal to Seeger: Songs & Stories of the American Banjo
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Michael J. Miles
"FROM SENEGAL TO SEEGER: Songs & Stories of the American Banjo"
From Senegal to Seeger is Michael J. Miles' acclaimed one-man show featuring musical and written works of Pete Seeger, Carl Sandburg, Woody Guthrie, Walt Whitman, Johann Sebastian Bach, Mark Twain and others.
"Highly recommended….an exhilarating, musical and multi-dimensional journey….a provocative political and social history of America."
- Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times
Protest, passion, politics, poetry -- the banjo is the voice of the people, and From Senegal to Seeger unshackles that voice. From Senegal to Seeger is a journey into Americana -- a social and political portrait of America through the eyes of the banjo.
In this 90 minute tour-de-force Michael performs on seven banjos, playing music that spans 300 years and charts the transformation of the banjo from an African instrument to the quintessential expression of the American voice.
Protest songs, fiddle tunes, minstrel sounds -- a dazzling array of banjo playing forms the backbone of From Senegal to Seeger, but it is the poetic words of participants and Michael's masterfully woven narrative that complete this portrait of the American experience.
Michael has performed this critically acclaimed one man musical documentary in a wide variety of venues over the past 20 years including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the Kennedy Center, and in 2013 all across Ireland for standing ovations at every show.
"...this is enough to make me want to learn the banjo all over again." - Pete Seeger
MICHAEL J. MILES, BIO
Michael J. Miles is a master banjoist, guitarist, orchestral composer, author of numerous theatrical works combining music and history, and acclaimed music educator.
"Genius...in a musician's paradise, the viral videos would be artists like Michael J. Miles playing his banjo." - Lin Brehmer, WXRT
Michael puts his musical stamp all over the walls of the possible and the improbable. Alone in concert or with his signature stage production, "From Senegal To Seeger," he has had standing ovations on four continents.
But give him a string quartet, a jazz band, an orchestra, a choir and Michael has created new music bringing critical rave and professional respect from musical legends—Pete Seeger, Dave Brubeck, Bela Fleck, Janos Starker, Corky Siegel—and there are more.
And in a world poisoned by international heartache Michael has reached across borders with music as the powerful and wordless weapon of respect. For his work in Morocco, Lebanon, and Turkey, Michael has been heralded by the US State Dept on three occasions for his powerful and enduring musical diplomacy.
In 2018, Miles received a composition grant from the City of Chicago for his upcoming work entitled, Mississippi River Suite and will be receiving a Chicago Music Legend Award from the Old Town School of Folk Music.
"I commend you for your hard work as an educator, and send my best wishes."
- President Bill Clinton