Sammy Miller and The Congregation Share “Reasons (I Just Don’t Know Yet)” From Debut Album Leaving Egypt out February 7


Ahead of their hometown show at Mercury Lounge tonight, the New York City seven-piece Sammy Miller and The Congregation have shared their new single “Reasons (I Just Don’t Know Yet).” The single is taken from their upcoming album Leaving Egypt out February 7, which has been acclaimed by Live for Live Music, JAZZIZ, American Songwriter, and more including JazzTimes who said, “the NYC-based Congregation has devised a distinctive stylistic mix of jazz, pop, and comedy over the past six years.”

“This is a love poem that is never to be finished,” Sammy says. “I’ve written so many verses on the magic of new love, but the only words that seem to do justice was this simple chorus, 4 lines long: you don’t have to worry / you don’t need to fret / i will love you forever \ for reasons i just don’t know yet.”

Listen to “Reasons (I Just Don’t Know Yet)” via YouTube:

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:
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
Mar 31 – Boston, MA – The Red Room at Cafe 939
May 1 – Fond du Lac, WI – Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
May 2 – Baileys Harbor, WI – Door County Brewing Co. Music Hall
May 3 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota
June 27-28 – Aspen, CO – Jazz Aspen Snowmass