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Dan Miller Jazz Foundation

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We’ve changed the look and location, but Dan Miller’s website is still standing, and we’re glad you’re here! While our web address and design have changed, the content is intact as Dan left it. You can still access his music, personal stories, career highlights and we’ve added much more. Please read on and explore!

6/9/2024 Celebrating Dan Through Scholarship

Dan Miller’s Heavenly Birthday was May 31st! The outpouring of love and heartfelt words all over social media, personal messages to me, his musician friends and more, were such a tribute to our beloved Dan. Many of us remember this incredible, talented “gift” with such love in our hearts. As you have learned Dan was a man who will Always be Loved and Never Forgotten. A day does not go by that I don’t miss him… I know you all feel the same! In honor of Dan’s Birthday, we offered a young “Beach Kid” in need, a special scholarship from Dan’s Scholarship Fund to attend the camp. How exciting to spread the Love…I know Dan is smiling down and blowing his Horn.

Love, Jude

Ostego Bay Summer Camp 2024

Young people will have the exciting opportunity to explore the beautiful barrier islands and the waters of Estero Bay, Ft. Myers Beach, Florida. Field and beach trips will introduce campers to seagrass communities, plankton populations, mangrove tangles, and bird nesting areas. The staff of state-certified teachers offer a wide diversity of expertise, providing highly personalized instruction. Learning about our waters and how to protect the environment will be invaluable experiences and lessons to all who participate!

3/24/2024 Dan Miller Memorial Scholarship Recently Presented to Former Jazz Student in Naples, Florida

As you know we have established the Dan Miller Memorial Scholarship to be awarded to young Jazz students to continue their journey as Jazz Musicians. This scholarship is primarily provided to students who have a financial need to help pay for lessons, instruments, Jazz camps and more.

On March 10, 2024 a scholarship was presented to a young former student of Dan’s, Josh Costa-Pozo at the NPJYO concert, where Josh plays tenor saxophone. Dan Miller was instrumental in forming the NPJYO (Naples Philharmonic Jazz Youth Orchestra) about nine years ago. Josh was a student of Dan’s for about 4 years. When Josh initially auditioned for a position with the NPJYO, he was turned down and Dan told him to practice more and to return to re-audition the next year.

He did. Dan ultimately accepted Josh and later told him he was the youngest member to ever make first chair for lead tenor. Josh studied under Dan for many years and was advised he had the potential of being great. And that has been an inspiration for Josh ever since. Before Dan’s passing, Dan’s last words to Josh were that he always had to audition–no matter what and Josh took these words as words to live by. There was a great void in Josh’s life with Dan’s passing. He has channeled this void to “respect and honor Dan and to make him as proud as he can,” these are Josh’s words, not mine. 

In keeping with this, Josh had a desire to apply and audition at Berklee College of Music. And “Congratulations” are in order, as he was accepted to Berklee College of Music, Bachelor of Music, Jazz Performance Degree, Graduating Class of 2028. He starts this September 2024. I was excited to honor Josh with this wonderful scholarship and know Dan joined me as he looked down from” ON HIGH” with pride and hope for Josh on his road to “greatness.” Dan, we will continue to be grateful for all you have done for the youth to help them pursue their dreams. We honor you and promise to continue your legacy for the young Jazz musicians.

You are Always Loved and Never Forgotten Dan Miller.


9/27/2023 Good News! Dan’s Scholarship Fund is Tax Exempt

It’s officially Fall, my favorite season of the year… It has been 12 months since Hurricane Ian hit Ft Myers FL. Rebuilding will take a long time…unfortunately things will never be the same. The devastation of Hurricane Ian added to the tragedy of losing our beloved Dan Miller. It’s been over a year since he’s been gone, and life continues to have something massive missing… that fabulous trumpet sound like no other that was distinctively “Dan Miller”. That big smile and the kind, generous Spirit of Dan will never be forgotten. The Dan Miller Jazz Master Memorial Scholarship program was started to remind us of so much of what Dan stood for, especially when it came to carrying on the legacy of Jazz Music. Dan had a never-ending passion for the music and in addition to being an amazing Jazz Trumpeter, he taught, mentored and was a role model for many young students of Jazz Music.

To date have awarded scholarships to 9 deserving local students for Jazz camps and music lessons. The scholarships are based on financial need and the willingness to show up, pay attention, do their best and most importantly practice. Over the years Dan offered lessons to many students across the country and he had one firm rule. if you don’t practice, you’re out!!

Good news, we have received a letter form the IRS declaring our non-profit. This means all donations and scholarship funds are Tax Exempt. If anyone who has made a donation needs a letter regarding your tax-exempt donation, please contact me at [email protected] and I will send you the donation letter.


8/6/23 A Message from Judi

Saturday August 19, 2023, marks 1 year since we lost our beloved Dan Miller. As most of us know his passing has left a huge hole not only in the Jazz Community, but in our hearts. Few people I’ve ever known or heard of have made such a
massive impact on others. Dan was not only accomplished and known Worldwide as a Jazz Musician, master teacher of the Jazz Trumpet, a caring mentor and friend, he was a gift to Humanity. Dan made the World a better place, he was and still is the love of my life, my soulmate and I will never let his memory fade. The Dan Miller Jazz Master Memorial Scholarship is one way we are keeping his legacy intact. To date we have awarded 8 Scholarships to deserving jazz students to help fund Jazz Camps and private Jazz music lessons. With your support and generous donations we will continue to do even more this year, so please visit www.danmillerjazzfoundation.org If you have not gone to his site, I invite you to check out Dan’s Fans and add your piece.

February 12, 2023, we celebrated the Love and Life of Dan Miller at an amazing gathering in Naples where over 700 family, friends and lovers of Jazz music came together to remember this incredible man. We enjoyed a live concert where over 35 wonderful Jazz musicians from all over the country played in Dan’s honor for over 2 hours. What a concert it was… there was not a dry eye in the room and his favorite tunes were played with love and enthusiasm… Dan was smiling down on all of us tapping his foot and snapping his fingers as usual! It was an awesome tribute to the man we will Always Love and Never Forget.

This coming August 19, 2023, I will have an intimate gathering at my home in Ft Myers Beach Fl with special friends and family to remember and express our Love together for my sweetheart Dan. So, I encourage you to join us in Spirit at 4 PM and lift your head, open your heart, raise your glass and toast our beloved Dan Miller.

In gratitude and Love,

5/31/23 Dan’s Birthday Announcement: 6 More Scholarships Awarded

Nathaniel Williford’s Graduation Cap

Happy Birthday to our Beloved Dan Miller … You are missed by ALL. As it is said over and over, your passing left a massive hole in the World of Jazz music and in our hearts. You will Always be Loved and Never Forgotten! How fitting that today we not only celebrate Dan’s Heavenly Birthday, but we have an Earthly Celebration in his honor as well. We are so proud to announce 5 more Dan Miller Memorial Jazz Master Scholarship recipients.

Congratulations to the following young Jazz Students: Matthew Quinines, Jonathan Ramirez, Gabriel Ybeceta, Jonathan Eysaman, Rocc Robaul and Matt Ford. Let’s not forget to congratulate one of Dan’s former awesome students Nathaniel Williford on his graduation, Honors at the Essentially Ellington in NYC and his acceptance at Juilliard.

Dan’s big, bright smile is shining down on all of you!

First Jazz Scholarship to be Awarded

Wonderful happening with Dan Miller Memorial Jazz Master Scholarship. Sunday May 14,2023 at the Spring Youth Jazz Orchestra Concert at Artis-Naples (Dan originally founded this fabulous group) we will be awarding our first Scholarship to young Jazz Student Alejandro Ramirez. We are all very excited and happy to keep Dan’s legacy alive.

Please stay tuned for more exciting news regarding additional scholarship awards, especially a promise of a College Scholarship from FGCU … more information to come.

Please Join Us for “More Fabulous Jazz Music with a Tribute to Dan Miller

March 26th from 3 to 5 PM at  Naples United Church of Christ  5200 Crayton Rd, Naples, FL 34103  

Tickets are $30

Featuring the  outstanding Jazz Pianist Brandon Goldberg (former student of Dan Miller)

Lead by the famous  Lew DelGatto on Sax, Terumasa Hino on Trumpet, Chuck Bergeron on Bass , Tony Vigilante on Drums and Glenn Basham on Violin (all former bandmates of Dan’s)

Will include  announcement regarding the Dan Miller Jazz Scholarship.

Hope to see you there…



“Celebrating a Giant Legacy” by Ken Franckling

Here’s a great event summary of Dan’s celebration. Click HERE for link to article.

Blues by Five: Kenny Rampton, Lou Califano, Gerald Augustin,
Lew Del Gatto,Jerry Weldon, Jeff Rupert, Wendell Brunious (partially hidden),
Preston Rupert, Terumasa Hino (Photo courtesy of Ken Franckling)

Musicians Converge on Southwest Florida to Perform at a “Celebration of Love and Life” concert in honor of the late Southwest Florida jazz trumpeter Dan Miller

Click HERE for link to the Radio Broadcast by John Davis

“Remembering Dan Miller: Memorial concert, scholarship fund keep trumpeter’s light shining” by Charles Runnells, Fort Myers News-Press

Click HERE for link to Article

Dan Celebration Live Stream Info

We will livestream the Celebration of Life for those who cannot attend in person. You can sign-on to nnchurch.org at 2pm on February 12th and click the Livestream Now button to watch / listen along.

Want to share a video tribute? Click HERE for instructions to send a video for Dan’s Celebration of Love and Life if you cannot attend.

Save the Date! Dan Miller Celebration of Love and Life

Sunday, February 12th, 2023 at 2 PM, North Naples Church, 6000 N. Goodlette Frank Rd., Naples, FL 34109

Details to follow. We are just beginning! We will put together a musical program in Dan’s honor. We hope everyone will be able to join us to celebrate the life and music of our most beloved Dan. There will be musical contributions from many of Dan’s friends including notes and videos from folks who can’t get here for the celebration. Feel free to contact Lew or Kate Del Gatto or Judi Woods via email at: [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]

The Dan Miller Jazz Master Memorial Scholarship Fund, Inc.

The Dan Miller Jazz Master Memorial Scholarship Fund, Inc. will provide aid to serious, young jazz musicians in financial need; kids who cannot develop their talent without a helping hand. Student applications will be carefully reviewed by our Scholarship Committee. While we will not be granting cash scholarships, we will award lessons, instruments, guidance in finding music camps and other educational necessities to give our kids tools they need for artistic success. In exchange for scholarships received, students in the program will be required to sign a pledge of commitment to practice daily, prepare diligently for lessons, and they will be held accountable for maintaining those standards. The fund is up and running. Information and applications for students are going out to middle and high school band directors.


Dan’s Impact

Dan and Judi

Someone’s impact on others is a more meaningful measure of a life well-lived than the number of years they spend on the planet. That notion was reinforced recently when we received word that Dan Miller died unexpectedly Friday, August 19. He was just 54.

Dan was passionate about a lot of things—auto racing and other sports, fine food, and his family. Most of us knew him best through his many contributions to the world of jazz. He was a high-octane trumpeter, blessed with a bright, soulful sound that graced the ranks of many a band through the years.

His sudden passing came just a few days after he and his sweetheart, Judi Woods, returned from their regular one-week vacation trip to New Orleans. On this visit, he caught up with many longtime musical friends and former band mates and sat in one night at Preservation Hall with Wendell Brunious and Shannon Powell and blew his trumpet only the way Dan could do. Just weeks before he spent some days with his longtime friend and mentor Bobby Shew. It was like Dan made sure to see some of his most important people before he went to join the most magnificent Jazz Band in Heaven with the other greats who went before him.

Dan will always be Loved and Never Forgotten Please join us as we keep his legacy intact thru the Dan Miller Jazz Master MemorialScholarship Fund. Also visit the new Facebook page Dan Miller Scholarship. -Judi Woods

Dan Miller, Jazz Trumpet

Jazz trumpeter Dan Miller, grew up in the vibrant musical scene of Chicago during the 1980’s. He attended the University of North Texas and moved to New York City in 1991. He has studied with Don Jacoby, Bobby Shew, John Haynie, Ed Treutel, Brad Goode, Nick Drozdoff and Barry Harris.

Dan and MF in Chicago

He spent eleven years (1990 – 2000) as a member of the Harry Connick Jr. Orchestra, traveling the world and recording numerous albums and television specials. Dan also toured internationally and recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Maynard Ferguson, Tom Jones and Woody Herman.

Dan Anguilla solo 1

He has also performed with: The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Lionel Hampton Orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Curtis Fuller, Branford Marsalis, Randy Brecker, Frank Foster, Jon Hendricks, George Coleman, Charles McPherson, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Tom Harrell, David “Fathead” Newman, Ira Sullivan, Bobby Shew and Jack McDuff.

Since 2005, he has split his time between NYC and Florida. He is currently a member of the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra and the musical director of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Jazz Orchestra. Dan is a Yamaha Clinician and Performing Artist and works with college bands, high school bands and private students nationwide. He is an Artist-in-Residence and Jazz Trumpet Instructor for the University of Central Florida (UCF) School of Performing Arts in Orlando