Project Grand Slam
The brainchild of acclaimed bassist/composer Robert Miller, Project Grand Slam is an amalgam of jazz and rock that has earned over one million video views, while defying genres, languages and geographic boundaries.
Performance Dates: 1/21, 2/25, 3/18 & 4/15.
PGS has cultivated a fervent, worldwide fan base. This surge in international fans has been fueled in large part by the Latin/Caribbean-infused title track from the band’s fourth studio album, ‘The Queen’s Carnival’ (CEN/SONY). No Depression praised the album as “a uniquely affecting work…impossibly memorable!” With influences as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, Afro-Cuban rhythms and Celtic folk, Robert has delivered a sound like no other. In fact, one of Robert’s musical signatures is to take classic rock songs such as Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Fire’ and The Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me’, and to completely reimagine them.
In 2016 PGS provided support for such artists as Boney James (twice), YES and Scott Weiland (formerly of Stone Temple Pilots), and performed at major venues including the Bergen Performing Arts Center, Ridgefield Playhouse, F.M. Kirby Performing Arts Center, Gramercy Theater, Garcia’s at The Capitol Theater, and the Highland Lakes Concert Series, while also performing at a number of major clubs including The Blue Note, The Cutting Room, Iridium and a continuing monthly residency at The Groove.
“The Queenʼs Carnival”, released in August 2016, features nine original tunes written by Robert that are rich in texture and diverse in feel, while still staying true to the PGS sound. Plus Robert’s totally reimagined cover of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” (feat. Lucy Woodward on vocals).
As Robert says, “The new album is the work that I’ve been building towards my entire career. It truly captures the two musical genres that have informed my composing and playing – rock and jazz. I consider this a breakthrough album for me and the band.”
“The Queen’s Carnival” has received uniformly rave reviews, including: “Unquestionably one of the year’s best albums!” (Mac Wire); “An inspired album…a work of ensemble genius!” (Music Existence); “A uniquely powerful work!” (Gashouse Radio); “A sonic cavalcade of different shades and textures!” (IndieMunity); “An album of wide ranging taste and distinction!” (Indie Music Reviews); and “Smart, stylish and sophisticated!” (Beach Sloth).
The title tune from the album has similarly garnered rave reviews such as: “Party powered happiness!” (Jamsphere); “Crackling hot Latin song craft!” (IndieMunity); “So full of personality it’s nearly impossible to listen sitting still!” (Independent Spotlight); and “Designed to lift your mood and make you want to dance!” (Stereo Stickman). The Official and Live videos of this song have been viewed over 500,000 times to date.
The band’s unique cover of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” has been called “Astonishing!” (Music Existence); “Stunning reinvention!” (Indie Music Reviews); “Crackling reimagining!” (Gashouse Radio), and “Stuns as a powerhouse cover!” (IndieMunity). In fact, Dave Davies, guitarist and co-founder of The Kinks, has praised PGS’s new version of the song.
PGS’s prior album – “Made In New York” – was released in September 2015 and featured two celebrated singles, “New York City Groove”, Robert’s love letter to his NYC home, and “Fire”, Robert’s reimagined version of the Jimi Hendrix classic. Both singles featured 2013 “The Voice” semi-finalist Kat Robichaud on vocals.
The reviews of “Made In New York” and “Fire” used words like “fantastic” (BVS Reviews), and “hot in every way” (Jazz Quad) for the album, and “really unbelievable” (Music Notez); “spectacular” (All What’s Rock) “superb” (Golden Newbies), “sultry, sexy and frankly brilliant” (Brews and Reviews), “brilliant” (Buzz Jack), and “stunning” (Band Blurb) for “Fire”.
Robert originally formed the band in 2007. PGS’s first two CDs, “Play” (2008) and “Spring Dance” (2012), had three top radio singles – “The Captain Of Her Heart” (feat. Judie Tzuke on vocals) from Play, and “Catch You Later” and the title song from Spring Dance. In 2009 the band and Robert also had a featured role in an episode of the hit NBC-TV series “Lipstick Jungle” starring Brooke Shields and Kim Raver, with five of the band’s tunes featured in the soundtrack and Robert having a speaking part.
Robert was a staple of the Boston music scene in the 1970ʼs, when jazz fusion came into vogue with Weather Report, Return To Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra and others. His fusion band (which included Anton Fig of Letterman fame) played alongside Gary Burton, Sonny Stitt, and Jaki Byard, among others, and played steadily at all the Boston area clubs.
Fast forward to the 1990ʼs when Robert formed The Robert Miller Group. Their first album, “Childʼs Play” (1994), contained Robertʼs first original compositions and featured such luminaries as Al Foster (Miles Davis), Randy Brecker (Brecker Brothers), Tony “Thunder” Smith (Lou Reed), Anton Fig and Jon Lucien. The band went on to play at several festivals including the Telluride Jazz Celebration and the San Bernadino Jazz Festival (alongside Bruce Hornsby, War and Bela Fleck).
Says Robert: “What Iʼm trying to achieve now with PGS is to combine the power and beat of rock with the improvisation of jazz in a new and exciting way that takes the music to a whole other level.”