A highly regarded trumpeter, composer, and educator, Ron Miles is a progressive artist with a bent toward harmonically nuanced, genre-bending jazz. A star of the Denver, Colorado jazz scene and a longtime professor at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, Miles is a lauded performer who has worked as both a leader and a collaborator with such similarly inclined luminaries as Bill Frisell and Fred Hess.
Born in 1964 in Indianapolis, Indiana, Miles moved to Denver with his family at age 11. Around the same time, he started playing trumpet, taking classical and jazz lessons throughout high school. Also during his formative years, he played in school band ensembles as well as a local all-city combo. After high school, he earned his undergraduate degree from Denver University, during which time he first met saxophonist Fred Hess, often traveling to Boulder to play with him. Toward the end of his undergraduate studies, the trumpeter won a classical competition at the International Brass Clinic that was held at Indiana University in Bloomington. The accolade helped garner him a scholarship to attend New York's Manhattan School of Music, where he eventually earned his master's degree. In 1987, he made his recorded debut with Distance for Safety, followed two years later by Witness.
Also around this time, he toured as a member of the Mercer Ellington Orchestra, and traveled to Italy in the summer of 1992 with the musical Sophisticated Ladies. He also recorded with Hess, and played frequently with guitarist Bill Frisell. In 1996 he released his third studio album, My Cruel Heart, which found him exploring his increasingly distinctive brand of modern creative jazz with rock influences via a handful of guitarists including Todd Ayers, Farrell Lowe, Arnie Swenson, and Eddie Turner. That same year he appeared on the Bill Frisell album Quartet, and he returned in 1997 with the grunge and post-rock-influenced Woman's Day, which found him working again with Frisell and his rhythm section, featuring bassist Artie Moore and drummer Rudy Royston.