Award-winning songwriter Bill Miller performs Monday at CMC
April 8, 2010
Steamboat Springs — At the start of Bill Miller's fine art education, a professor asked the artist and musician when he thought he'd be considered a master of his craft.
At the time, Miller figured he'd be a master of his craft when he finished his art degree. Decades later, Miller has a storied music career, a wizened outlook and a different idea about mastering art.
"You have to live your art, breathe your art, lose your art … to be a true artist. … And I consider that the same thing in the music business," Miller said.
A three-time Grammy Award winner and 2007 Lifetime Achievement honoree at the Native American Music Awards, Bill Miller is scheduled to give an intimate roots music concert at 8 p.m. Monday in Willett Hall's Schaffrick Lounge on the Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus. Admission is free.
After 35 years on the road and in the music business, sometimes logging as many as 250 days out a year, Miller said he has come to embrace a theme of "victory, not victim" in his life and in his music. Growing up on a reservation, Miller said he felt a "historical trauma" affecting his people. In stories about his childhood and his life since, Miller touches on real-life experiences and themes, he said.
These days, the Nashville, Tenn., singer-songwriter feels more ownership of his music than he ever has, and is picking what he plays and when he wants to play it, he said.
"Three things that I'm going to bring to Steamboat Springs is my heritage, my life experiences and my spiritual path," Miller said.
Accustomed to playing larger venues — Miller is scheduled to play Nashville's Ryman Auditorium with country musician Vince Gill later this month — the folk musician with Mohican heritage said he's looking forward to playing an intimate space like Schaffrick Lounge.
Event organizer Tamara Coleman said the CMC staff wanted to keep Miller's performance on campus because of its connection to student fees and programming. CMC was interested in hosting Miller for a performance because of his status as an accomplished musician and also for the diverse performance experience he offers to CMC students, said Coleman, coordinator of student activities for the CMC Alpine Campus.
Miller will talk with CMC students about racial reconciliation and diversity during a workshop earlier Monday.
— To reach Margaret Hair, call 871-4204 or e-mail email@example.com
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