Butch Miles

Butch Miles was born in Ironton, Ohio on July 4, 1944 and raised in West Virginia. He started playing the snare drum at age 9 in his school band. He became interested in drumset at age 14 and started drum lessons with Frank Thompson in Charleston, West Virginia at age 15. He soon joined the union and began playing with dance bands. Butch's first big break was with Mel Torme's band in 1971.

Butch's first drum hero was Gene Krupa, but he listened to every drummer he possibly could. Other favorite drummers were Papa Jo Jones, Chick Webb, Roy Haynes, Joe Morello, Louie Bellson and Buddy Rich. Butch cites the great Count Basie drummer, Sonny Payne, as a major influence.

Miles is a clinician for the Ludwig Drum Company and is currently touring with the world famous Count Basie Orchestra. “In January of 1975 Butch joined the Count Basie Orchestra as a sub for Ray Parello, who had been in an auto accident, but soon became his replacement. Buddy Rich helped Miles get the job by putting in a good word for him with Basie. Previously, Butch was Mel Torme's drummer. Buck Clayton, the legendary Basie trumpeter and arranger said 'Miles fits the band better than anyone since Jo (Jones) left.' In 1979 Butch left Basie to pursue other opportunities. Butch has since played with artists such as Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, Benny Goodman, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Gerry Mulligan, Lena Horne, Joe Bushkin, Bob Wilber, and many others.” This information is from an article by Burt Korall in the April 1994 issue of Modern Drummer Magazine entitled “The Great Drummers of Count Basie.”

Read more


Album Review
Read more articles



Straight on Till...

Unknown label


Live Montreux '77...

Unknown label




Shop Amazon

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.