For over 35 years, his music has moved audiences around the world. He is an icon of the Native American music community, and an accomplished artist whose paintings are exhibited nationwide. Yet, in the view of singer, composer, flutist, painter and storyteller Bill Birdsong Miller, hes just getting started.
Born in 1955 on Wisconsins Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation, Bill began playing the guitar at age 12. As a young man, he performed with various bands, and released an album in 1983 as part of Bill Miller and the Native Sons. The following year, he garnered national attention when Tori Amos asked him to open for her on the Under the Pink tour.
Although most of Bills music is inspired by his heritage winning multiple Native American Music Awards, including a 2007 Lifetime Achievement honor he has never let himself be confined to a certain genre. He has co-written songs with Nanci Griffith, Kim Carnes and Michael Martin Murphy, and he has toured with Eddie Vedder, Arlo Guthrie and Richie Havens, to name a few.
His passion for music has resulted in tremendous critical acclaim. Bills 2005 instrumental album, Cedar Dream Songs, won a Grammy Award. The following year, he shared Grammy honors for the collaborative album, Sacred Ground – A Tribute to Mother Earth. And in May 2009, Bill joined other music legends in paying tribute to Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday at Madison Square Garden.
The achievement that garnered the most worldwide recognition was the The Last Stand, an original symphony that Bill co-composed with Joshua Yudkin and Kristin Wilkinson, in collaboration with conductor Amy Mills. This symphony of hope commemorates the Battle of Little Big Horn of the Great Sioux War of 1876-77. The themes of conflict and reconciliation proved a natural fit for Israel a land of tribes, immense spirituality, and millennia of clashes between peoples. The symphony was performed in March 2009 across Israel by the Kibbutz Orchestra, with Bill playing the Native American flute as a concerto soloist.
Beyond music, Bill is an accomplished painter whose work has appeared in The National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution), the Barbara Able Gallery in Santa Fe, the Trickster Gallery in Chicago, and the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York. He is also an in-demand keynote speaker and lecturer, speaking at universities, race relations conferences and cultural awareness programs nationwide.
Music, however, remains Bills primary bridge to his audiences, and he continues to compose new works at his home in Nashville, Tennessee. His most recent album, Spirit Wind North, honors all the tribes of Turtle Island (North America) with flute songs and prayers. His highly anticipated next album, Chronicles of Hope, will be released in winter 2009.
Bill Miller accepts the responsibility of his heritage, and artistic gifts, without excuse. He has shared his message of hope and reconciliation as a mentor to his community and the culture at large. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Renee of 31 years and their five children and grandchildren.
Three–time Grammy award-winning songwriter and musician: Best Native American Music Album, “Cedar Dream Songs”–2004, “Sacred Ground–A Tribute to Mother Earth”–2005. Winner of seven Native American Music awards: Lifetime Achievement–2007, Song of The Year, and Single of the Year-2006, Best Male Artist, Songwriter of the Year, Folk Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Song of The Year for “Ghost Dance”–1999.