Dan’s Fans List of Tributes


melquisedec moman



earlynn maradiaga


Thank You, Dan

Dan, I remember starting my musical journey as well as the first time hearing you play. Through all my friends, “Dan Miller” was always the name that echoed. From the perspective of a kid who’s barely ever held a saxophone, it was truly magic how you brightened up a room just by playing. It was then that I realized my obsession with jazz and the language of bebop. It was then that I realized that I could never live in a world where jazz was not in my life. I got to know Dan and even had the pleasure of studying with him. Dan taught me everything I know and love about jazz, including, various saxophone jazz figures and bebop lines that I still use to this day, every day. His teaching style was truly the best, he pushed me to my hardest every day. He never let me give up, and he always believed in me. Dan believed in me at a point in time where I felt no one else did. I truly accredit all my success to Dan, as he is the reason I have made it to where I am today. I have recently been admitted into The Berklee College of Music, and I believe that none of that would have been possible without my biggest hero.

Dan is the reason jazz is still alive in Naples, and he is the reason hundreds of kids find “their spark”. Dan showed me jazz, he showed me my “purpose”.

Thank you for believing in me Dan.
– Joshua Costa-Pozo

Joshua Costa-Pozo


eurma nonemaker



Xavier Nuñez



Capri Coleman



Frankie Mcguire



Nova Ruiz



Opal Arias



Kasen Arellano






Santiago Baker


Jazz Encyclopedia

My dear friend Dan Miller who passed last Fall’s Soulmate is putting together a great music program for young jazz musicians in his memory. As a great world renowned jazz trumpeter he was equally devoted to the kids of FL.
I’ve been on many jobs where I loved someone’s playing and asked their background and idols etc. and in Florida, 9 times out of 10 their hero was Dan Miller. He never spoke about it for personal accolades, it’s just who he was. A great example, a friend of mine jazz trumpet player Mike Connors who’s my age, was having chop problems and was a life long and Dan Miller fan, humbly asked Dan for advice. Dan took him out in the parking lot next break and solved the problem. Dan was such a beautiful cat he’d never say no to someone asking for help.Dan was my personal Jazz Encyclopedia! I could call him from anywhere in the planet with a question (Like I used to call either Dick Johnson or Teddy Casher) and he’d get back in a few minutes with the answer. Since Dan unselfishly gave his life to helping others, I’m sincerely hopeful that Judi Woods hard work at keeping his memory alive will be a success!!!

Joe Delaney

Our Friend

I met Dan Miller some years ago when I took my family to dinner at the Roadhouse Café. I had played with bassists Steve Gilmore for many years and heard him speak of Lew Del Gatto many times. My son Karl was familiar with the artistry of Lew and knew he was playing at that particular venue on that particular evening; hence the reason we were there. Dan Miller was also on the bandstand that evening; he and Lew joined us for a short conversation after the last set and we became “regulars” at that venue for the remainder of our stay in Florida that year and we soon thought of ourselves as friends of these two musical legends.

When my wife, Shelagh, and I decided to spend more time in Florida, my son Karl mentioned that it would be fun to play together when we were in town. He soon began to book engagements for an octet during the following year. We had the arrangements and we had the saxophone section (me, Karl and his son, Kross), but where will we find the remaining players? Karl spoke with Dan and not only did he agree to play with us, but also provided the rest of the musicians (who turned out to be some of the best musicians in Florida (from Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, Naples and Ft. Myers!).

This story seems to talk about my family, but I could not write about Dan without providing this background. Dan was a giant: He was a big man with a big heart.; He was a great musician and educator; He was a walking dictionary of all things jazz; AND, he was a gentle man who had many friends, students and colleagues. He was loved by all who were lucky enough to have met him, who have had the privilege to get to observe him on the bandstand, who were lucky enough to sit with him and listen to him as he recalled various and many accomplishments as a professional musician who had played with so many well-known players.

The members of my family were stunned when we learned of Dan’s passing and I am sure that everyone who knew him felt like the news couldn’t be true…It just couldn’t be true that our colleague, our friend, our mentor, OUR family left us at such an early age.

We mourn with all of you of the passing of this wonderful and talented human being…. that we have lost our Gentle Giant.

Al Hamme and Family

Albert Hamme

I love Dan..

Hi, just because I am Dan’s and Jude’s doggie doesnt mean I am not Dan’s biggest fan…I remember the day Dan took Jude on a suprise trip to get me.
I was just 5 weeks old..we all fell in love with other at first site. Dan let me sleep on his bed with him and Jude.. ride in his car and “sing” with him when he blew his horn. He was so cool and wow he could play that trumpet..He took me for walks and gave me lots of treats..even snuck me food from the table when Jude wasnt looking!! I am 10 years old now and my life has changed without him..we were pals and he loved me so much..I miss him and his hugs and kisses( so does Jude) Dan dont ever forget me..I know you won’t. I’ll see you on the other side buddy..wait for me..I know I will always be your favorite 🐕❤❤
Love Jake the dog



A true loved little giant who always loved you back! A talented trumpeter, cook, but most of all a great man, friend and a gentleman. May he rest peacefully,  and his memories live forever!


Louis Ford


To My beloved Dan…
You ask how much I need you, must I explain?
I need you, oh my darling, like roses need rain.
You ask how long I’ll love you; I’ll tell you true:
Until the twelfth of never, I’ll still be loving you.
Hold me close, never let me go.
Hold me close, melt my heart like April snow.
I’ll love you till the bluebells forget to bloom;
I’ll love you till the clover has lost its perfume.
I’ll love you till the poets run out of rhyme,
Until the twelfth of never and that’s a long, long time.
Hold me close, never let me go.
Hold me close, melt my heart like April snow.
I’ll love you till the bluebells forget to bloom;
I’ll love you till the clover has lost its perfume.
I’ll love you till the poets run out of rhyme,
Until the twelfth of never and that’s a long, long time.

I will love you my sweetheart, for a long long time…Until we meet again !

Judi Woods

Size of his Heart

I’ve known Dan for over 25 years and the only thing bigger than his sound was the size of his heart. He has recommended me for more gigs than I can remember-introduced me to Bobby Shew, and help secure my Yamaha Performing Artist endorsement. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the music and a deeply penetrating view of the teachings of Barry Harris. The effect of his influence on me and his students will be felt for years to come.
Bill Dowling, Trumpet
Yamaha Performing Artist

Bill Dowling

We Were Hooked

I opened the Florida Weekly one day to the entertainment section looking for something to do
and listed was jazz on Thursday nights at the Barrel Room downtown.   My husband Dan Petit
and I always liked jazz so off we went and had a great time. We were there most Thursday nights.

One night we walked in and there was Judi Woods!  Now I knew Judi from the Guardian Ad
Litem program and Footsteps to the Future. We found out that evening that Dan Miller was her
squeeze.  That was when we were personally introduced to Dan.

From then on, we were there every Thursday. “We were hooked.”
Shortly after my husband passed, Judi and Dan encouraged me to keep coming.  So, I did.
Thursday night was my night at the Barrel Room.

Dan Miller opened up a whole new world to me about Jazz. I was able to enjoy You Tube
videos, concerts at Artis, concerts at Cambier Park and make new friends, besides listing to him
play at the Barrel Room.

The first Christmas after my husband passed, Dan and Judi invited me to their home for
Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner so I would not be alone.   They also made sure that I was
walked safely to my car every Thursday night.

Dan Miller was a great jazz musician and one of the smartest, caring people I have known.
Thank you for being my friend Dan.  You and your music are truly missed.

Julie M. Pettit

Julie M. Pettit


Dan Miller was one of the biggest influences on my life, and in jazz music. He taught me how to be
disciplined, and that if I work hard towards something, I will succeed at what I am trying to accomplish.
Dan always put his students first, because he cared so much about their individual growth. If it weren’t
for Dan Miller, I wouldn’t be pursuing a career in music. He lit the fire inside me that make me love jazz
music, and I can’t thank him enough for that. Since hearing about his passing, I now have a purpose to
play. Someone to think of every time I pick up my horn. Thank you, Dan Miller.

Fortunato “F”

Kindness and Dedication

Besides being the excellent trumpet player he was, Dan was a person who inspired so many
people around him through his kindness and dedication to helping young and upcoming
musicians! His love for his beautiful Judi stood out even the first time I met them. My
wonderful husband Wendell and I refer to them as our close friends and we feel so blessed that
we got to spend quality time with Dan and Judi here in New Orleans. Dan also sat in and
played with us at the Preservation Hall for what became his last concert! With warm regards
from our whole family! We miss you Dan!
Wendell and Caroline Brunious

Wendell and Caroline Brunious

The Highest Caliber

Dan Miller meant the world to me. He was the greatest teacher and mentor anyone could ask for. But
even more than all of that, he was the greatest person and friend. Dan was a trumpet player and
musician of the highest caliber. He had the biggest trumpet sound and played with a swing and
sophistication like nobody else could. As a teacher, he showed me almost everything I know. Before our
lessons he checked up on me and my family to make sure we were alright. And then he taught me the
history and roots of jazz and began teaching me how to play it. Dan prepared me for many of the things I
do and face now. Without Dan Miller, I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today. I miss him everyday.

Nathaniel Williford

Dan’s Legacy

I wouldn’t be the musician I am today without having studied with Dan Miller for years. He was such
an inspirational musician, historian of the music, but most importantly, one of the most kind-hearted
people you’d ever meet. He will be the model musician and teacher I aspire to be. All my students will
know about Dan’s legacy.

Dylan Young


Dan Miller was more than just a friend to me. He was my brother, my mentor, my musical
partner for 6 years. I learned more from Dan about life than anyone I’ve ever encountered. I
never met someone who loved the music and knew more about the music than Dan Miller. I’ll
never forget the many conversations we had about life, music, sports, and other various topics.
Dan was the individual who would literally give the shirt off his back to see you make it. His love
for teaching the next generation was so inspiring and he’s been a true vessel for thousands of
students who crossed his path. There will never be another Dan Miller and his legacy will live on
through the countless students he taught over the years. He taught me how to play with LOVE,
PASSION, AND INTEGRITY. Though his physical being is no longer here, his musical spirit has
been thriving and those of us who knew him will continue the hard work he started.

Brandon L. Robertson, M.M.

HCJ Trumpet Section

Dan and I first met as members of the Harry Connick Jr. big band trumpet section. We were the
youngest guys in the band. I was 19, Dan was 21. What a thrill. We travelled the world together,
recorded together, filmed together, etc… and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner, brother, friend,
etc…for this adventure. Dan was smart. He was always reading and learning and eager to share. Politics,
movies, music, TV, sports…Dan had the info. We remained close friends after the Harry Connick Jr. band

Not too long ago I was struggling to find a trumpet that was perfect for me. I called Dan and we
chatted for a few minutes and an hour later he calls me back from the music store in Ft. Myers FL. He
says, “ I play tested 3 horns and I picked one out for you, you’ll have it tomorrow”…I’m playing that horn
today and I think of Dan every time I pick it up. Dan was generous (to a fault!) and selfless.
Dan was also a great teacher/mentor and uncle. He loved kids.

I cherish every moment that I was able to spend with Dan and his partner Judi. Big laughs and big love and fun. A couple of nights ago I was watching “Better Call Saul” and at the beginning of the episode there was a haunting version of “Days Of Wine And Roses”…with a trumpet solo. I couldn’t figure out who it was! I’m usually pretty strong at that game in about 3 notes. I thought to myself, “I’ll call Dan in the morning, he’ll know who/what/where/when”… I will always miss my friend/brother Dan. And will always love him with all of my heart.
Jeremy Davenport

Jeremy Davenport


I was so thrilled for my sister Judi when Dan Miller came into her life. She and I have long shared a love
for jazz music, and that she had finally found her soulmate in a jazz musician was a match made in music
heaven! I was fortunate to have heard Dan play in person, at Smalls in New York, and at an ensemble
concert in Naples, FL, featuring one of his many proteges, Brandon Goldberg. The two performances
epitomized Dan’s breadth of talent and influence: One, a gig in a smoky jazz club; the other, the essence
of collaboration and education. But most of all, it was the totality of Dan Miller — the person — that has
left an impression on me. To get to know him, and to see how happy he made Judi, was a gift that will
keep on giving. Combined with the legacy of his music and musings on his tribute website, and the
scholarship fund in his name, Dan Miller may be gone, but he will never be forgotten! 
Bob Woods

Bob Woods

The Great One

The first time I saw Dan Miller play trumpet, I was mesmerized. There were so many layers to
Dan.  Every encounter with him, every one of his posts on Facebook,taught me about his
musicianship and his humanity.He let you know how important you were to him. He let you
know how important jazz was.  He let you know how important the education and promotion of
youth was.

Every moment with Dan just made one fall deeper in love with the man.  I remember the day he
told me he played with Harry Connick Jr. for a decade.  I frequent New Orleans and Dan  played
with many of my favorite New Orleans musicians.  Every time I saw one of those cats in New
Orleans I would tell them hello from Dan.  Their faces would break out into pure joy, they would
tap their heart, and many would say, “Dan Miller, that’s my man!”
Dan and the love of his life, Judi Woods would travel to New Orleans once a year and visit his
former band members.  Dan and Judi in New Orleans was my favorite Facebook time of the
year.  Pure joy, huge smiles, endless love.

I have always loved yelling encouragement to bands.  When Dan would say Yeh! I would be
thrilled.  My wife Mary can tell you  I would often  do a low response to all of Dan’s calls.  He
enthralled me.  Meeting with Dan after one show, I told him that the only thing I didn’t like about
his solos was he couldn’t yell Yeh! He chuckled and said “ trust me Willie, I am doing that

It was Dan’s humanity that was even more amazing than his trumpet playing.  His love for Judi,
his family, his fellow musicians, his students, his fans, the history of his chosen art form. Anyone
that was at the Barrel Room the week after Dan passed can tell you the love felt that night.
McCartney Forde Sr. said it best, “I’ve seen some of greatest entertainers to ever walk this
earth perform in front of tens of thousands of people.But never in my life have I experienced
anything like the tribute to the life and career my friend Dan Miller at the The Barrel Room
last night.His contemporaries, protégés and fans alike poured into the roughly 800 square
foot lounge from all over the country to pay homage to this titan of a man.The energy was
electric, the emotion palpable. The only  thing that flowed more than tears was the alcohol.
Dan touched countless lives, as evidenced by the sheer number of people in the room
cheering, clapping and shouting in jubilation as his cohorts played their hearts out in honor
of Dan’s memory.” Dan Miller was truly The Great One.

Willie Shallis

Dan at his Absolute Best

My husband Jim and I first met Dan 20 years ago at Ellingtons on Sanibel Island.
We both love Jazz music , and coming from the Northeast were starving for some quality sounds, so we
were elated when we stumbled onto Dan Miller “and friends”.
We have been a fan ever since…. He and Lou now became the entertainment we so looked forward to
on a bi-weekly/ monthly basis. We held tickets at the Daniel’s Pavilion for many years and looked so
forward to listen and watch Dan at his absolute best always in “All that Jazz”
His expressions and hep! and yea! sounds of enjoying the music as much as his audience, was an
incredible experience to watch. His knowledge, enthusiasm and passion were unparalleled. We were
hooked! In between the shows, we would find ourselves at The Barrel Room for some more of this
fabulous trumpet playing awesomeness! And an occasional visit to the Roadhouse. At this point, We
now considered Dan our friend. His warmth and friendliness was so very endearing- such a gentle man!
We are so incredibly lucky and honored to have shared in Dan’s musical life’s journey. The last
conversation we had after the gig at the Barrel room was him telling us how much he was looking
forward to a break and getting away to New Orleans with his sweetheart Judi.
We will hold Dan in our hearts forever and cherish the many many evenings of ultimate enjoyment he
provided for so many of us fans. He was one unique and irreplaceable guy!
He really made a difference in people’s lives both young and old.
What a treasure! Miss him dearly!

Angela Garzon

Beautiful Musician

I will remember Dan fondly. He was not only a beautiful musician, but also a warm and very kind soul.
Godspeed, dear brother. God bless always, Marc Berner

Marc Berner