“I started as a percussionist, in middle school, and quickly took drum lessons and piano lessons.”
Paul started in sixth grade, and his choice was made, “Randomly, I had wanted to play trombone. I played mallet percussion, bells, xylophone, marimba. I took percussion in school, and took piano privately. It was a ‘quick start’ but it wasn’t until I started jazz piano lessons that everything fell into place, and I learned how to play jazz, which I had always wanted to.”
Paul’s musical exploration continued with private lessons from Andy Whittington, a jazz professor at UNCW. “He got me playing the chords, knowing the chords.”
Surprisingly, Paul’s major is chemistry, though he plans to continue his musical experience by teaching piano, playing gigs, and joining a jazz ensemble.
Paul Lewis comes from a musical family. “My dad was a saxophone player, and a fiddle player, in a small town in Maine, Lubec, a fishing village. My mother was a piano player, and she was still taking lessons when I was young. She was very good, and had been taking lessons for a very long time, concert piano. She ended up playing in a band with my dad.”
As happens so often, the whole family was involved, “It (the saxophone) was there, I played my dad’s saxophone, and my mother taught me how to play it. I learned the saxophone before I went to school, and my first recital was when I was five or six years old. I played in the school band, and my sister played in the band, clarinet, and she played piano and violin.”
At some point, wanting something different from sax, Paul tried tuba, bass horn and guitar. He played drums for his parent’s band. In college, he sold all his musical instruments except for the drums.
“Out of college, I stopped playing, and didn’t start again until I was forty years old. I took some sax lessons, and found Tony Viola, who played lead alto in Glen Miller’s band.”
“I like a lot of different kinds of music because I grew up in a house with lots of different kinds of music, all the time, early rock and roll, a lot of big band, a lot of jazz, and early rock. You know, I’m that vintage, early doo-wop stuff.”
David Miles hails from Todmorden, a small village in West Yorkshire England and began playing cornet at the age of nine in the local village Brass Band.
At 20 years of age he worked as a professional Trumpet player for the next 18 years at many of England’s theaters,ballrooms and night clubs, before leading his own small 5 piece group on various cruise ships with The. Expression Showband.
After moving to the US and marrying the Nurse from one of the ships,David found full time work in different fields while spending time coaching Soccer and travelling up and down the eastern seaboard with his son through years of junior golf.
After a 28 year hiatus and over the last two years as a comeback player with the help and encouragement of local Trumpet man Darious Crawford he is thoroughly enjoying playing the second time around.
David now plays with various bands from the Wilmington area and would like to thank Artistry in Jazz for giving him the opportunity to play in their Trumpet section and make new friends.
David’s Father Bob Miles was also a Trumpet player and worked as a professional musician in England.