Ahead of their tour next week in support of the upcoming album Leaving Egypt, Sammy Miller and The Congregation have shared the latest single "Date A Jew," a simmering narrative track that showcases the Congregation's groove pocket and their subtle music interplay with some purposeful messaging sweetly tucked in.
Listen to "Date A Jew" via YouTube:
"My long time partner and I come from very backgrounds. Her, Karachi, Pakistan, me, suburban Los Angeles," Miller tells Live For Live Music. "Different cultures, different religions, different in every way you could imagine yet we’re the same. We want the happiness for our friends, family, and community. We care about our work, we care about our city, our country, and most of all we care about what we can change if we aren’t tribal."
"In this time of growing tribalism, it’s on each of us as individuals to be universal. To find empathy for those we’ve been taught to hate, to listen to those we find insufferable, it takes work, but you might find you had more love in your heart than you knew possible."
Sammy Miller, a Grammy-nominated drummer for his work with Joey Alexander, convened The Congregation in 2014 at The Juilliard School in New York City where he was getting his master's in jazz. “When I was at Juilliard, I realized jazz couldn’t just live in a conservatory vacuum. It needed to provide its initial function of being an expansive creative outlet where the rules are there for you to break and improvisation went beyond notes and into an experience,” Sammy says.
The Congregation’s 9-song debut album Leaving Egypt was cut in four 16-hour days at the legendary United Studios where the many famed Count Basie sides were tracked. The band enlisted drummer extraordinaire Jay Bellerose (Alison Krauss, Ray LaMontagne, Robert Plant, B.B. King) to supervise and produce the proceedings. The band lineup is Sammy Miller, drums and vocals; Sam Crittenden, trombone; Ben Flocks, tenor sax; Sammy’s sister Molly Miller on guitar; Alphonso Horne, trumpet; Corbin Jones, bass and tuba; and David Linard, piano.
“This is us,” Sammy says of the album. “I’m proud of it, and I’m eager to embark on our mission to bring joy to people’s lives through music.”
Leaving Egypt Tracklist:
1. Searching For Ragtime
3. Reasons I Just Don't Know Yet
6. It Gets Better
7. Eagle Rock
8. Date A Jew
9. When I'm Gone
Jan 13 - Toronto, ON - Hugh’s Room
Jan 14 - Lake Orion, MI - 20 Front Street
Jan 15 - Evanston, IL - SPACE
Jan 17 - Mason City, IA - North Iowa Community Auditorium
Jan 18 - Des Moines, IA - xBK
Jan 19 - Indianapolis, IN - The Jazz Kitchen
Jan 20 - Columbus, OH - Rumba Café
Jan 30 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
Feb 12 - Escondido, CA - California Center for the Arts
Feb 13 - Santa Barbara, CA - Campbell Hall
Feb 16 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater
Feb 21 - Mill Valley, CA - Sweetwater
Feb 22 - Palo Alto, CA - Oshman Family JCC
Feb 23 - Sacramento, CA - The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts
Feb 28 - Dubai, UAE - Dubai Jazz Festival
Mar 24 - Atlanta, GA - Vinyl
Mar 26 - Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theatre
Mar 25 - Asheville, NC - Isis Music Hall
Mar 27 - Richmond, VA - Tin Pan
Mar 28 - Washington, DC - Songbyrd
Mar 29 - Sellersville, PA - Sellersville Theater
Mar 31 - Boston, MA - The Red Room at Cafe 939
May 1 - Fond du Lac, WI - Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
May 2 - Baileys Harbor, WI - Door County Brewing Co. Music Hall
May 3 - Minneapolis, MN - Dakota
June 27-28 - Aspen, CO - Jazz Aspen Snowmass