The musicians of the Gulf Coast Big Band mourn the loss of our gifted director of ten years, Dan Miller.
Dan passed away on Friday, August 19, 2023 and left so many grieving friends and admirers in Naples, Collier County and beyond. Dan was a mentor to young people, an amazement to audiences, and an icon among musicians. To our members of the Gulf Coast Big Band, Dan was our leader, our teacher, our taskmaster and our longtime friend. Over time, he gave us our identity as a purely jazz group. He was untiring in his efforts, too, that helped our band raise over $80,000 for the high school musicians of Collier County, a number of whom have played with our band in Cambier Park and will continue to do so.
Gulf Coast Band President Dick Miller described Dan as “an incredible teacher for the individual jazz student and the jazz ensemble, a musical encyclopedia whose knowledge of the jazz world was almost infinite, but most of all a great person who cared about everyone.”
We were all stunned and sad that Dan is gone so suddenly. We will remember his astonishing artistry forever, and play our instruments trying to channel his musical wisdom. But most of all, we will never forget the size of his heart.
The Dan Miller Memorial Tribute
On February 12th, 2023, the Gulf Coast Big Band was invite to participate in the tribute honoring our former conductor - Dan Miller. We were honored to be able to open the show with a couple of songs Dan would have loved. It was a truly special day filled with great guests, music and love for the late Dan Miller. Thank you to the North Naples Church for allowing us to be a part of the celebration!