Sammy Miller and The Congregation Share Music Video For “Shine” From Debut Album ‘Leaving Egypt’


Sammy Miller and The Congregation share the music video for their latest single “Shine,” the first track to be released from their forthcoming debut album Leaving Egypt, out February 7. Tonight, the band opens for Blind Boys of Alabama at the Smith Opera House in Geneva, NY and again on Sunday at the Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington, NY.

Watch “Shine” via YouTube:

“I was watching a bunch of Charlie Chaplin shorts this summer,” drummer, singer, and band leader Sammy Miller mentions. “I always love that in spite of everything around him, he is optimistic. Our lonely lil drummer boy in ‘Shine’ is in a similar position. He wanders, struggles, toils, and aches, but ultimately he doesn’t lose faith. He even finds some friends along the way.”

Sammy Miller, a Grammy-nominated drummer for his work with Joey Alexander, convened The Congregation in 2014 at The Juilliard School in New York City where he was getting his master’s in jazz. “When I was at Juilliard, I realized jazz couldn’t just live in a conservatory vacuum. It needed to provide its initial function of being an expansive creative outlet where the rules are there for you to break and improvisation went beyond notes and into an experience,” Sammy says.

He soon found a cadre of jazz students who felt similarly—outliers who were fiercely individual on their instruments, but also craved a manner of expression beyond the solo. Their live show grew to be something of a mix between a comedy troupe and a dazzling rock band that played a vigorously reimagined strain of jazz. “We let ourselves be free on the bandstand and we took the audience with us,” Sammy says. The band’s boundless energy, inclusive ideals, catchy songwriting, and revue style presentation made them a word-of-mouth buzz band.

The Congregation’s 9-song debut album Leaving Egypt was cut in four 16-hour days at the legendary United Studios where the many famed Count Basie sides were tracked. The band enlisted drummer extraordinaire Jay Bellerose (Alison Krauss, Ray LaMontagne, Robert Plant, B.B. King) to supervise and produce the proceedings. The band lineup is Sammy Miller, drums and vocals; Sam Crittenden, trombone; Ben Flocks, tenor sax; Sammy’s sister Molly Miller on guitar; Alphonso Horne, trumpet; Corbin Jones, bass and tuba; and David Linard, piano.

“This is us,” Sammy says of the album. “I’m proud of it, and I’m eager to embark on our mission to bring joy to people’s lives through music.”

Leaving Egypt Tracklist:

  1. Searching For Ragtime
  2. Shine
  3. Reasons I Just Don’t Know Yet
  4. Bluebird
  5. Before
  6. It Gets Better
  7. Eagle Rock
  8. Date A Jew
  9. When I’m Gone

Tour Dates:
Dec 6 – Geneva, NY – Smith Opera House %
Dec 8 – Port Washington, NY – Landmark on Main Street %
Jan 13 – Toronto, ON – Hugh’s Room
Jan 14 – Lake Orion, MI – 20 Front Street
Jan 15 – Evanston, IL – SPACE
Jan 17 – Mason City, IA – North Iowa Community Auditorium
Jan 18 – Des Moines, IA – xBK
Jan 19 – Indianapolis, IN – The Jazz Kitchen
Jan 20 – Columbus, OH – Rumba Café
Jan 30 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
Feb 12 – Escondido, CA – California Center for the Arts
Feb 13 – Santa Barbara, CA – Campbell Hall
Feb 16 – Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater
Feb 21 – Mill Valley, CA – Sweetwater
Feb 22 – Palo Alto, CA – Oshman Family JCC
Feb 23 – Sacramento, CA – The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts
Feb 28 – Dubai, UAE – Dubai Jazz Festival
Mar 24 – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl
Mar 26 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theatre
Mar 25 – Asheville, NC – Isis Music Hall
Mar 27 – Richmond, VA – Tin Pan
Mar 28 – Washington, DC – Songbyrd
Mar 29 – Sellersville, PA – Sellersville Theater
May 1 – Fond du Lac, WI – Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
May 2 – Baileys Harbor, WI – Door County Brewing Co. Music Hall

% with with Blind Boys of Alabama