'Sophisticated composer'...

'Powerful saxophonist'

John Fordham - The Guardian

John K Miles has composed numerous scores for film and television (BBC1, BBC2, Channel 4, Channel 5, ARTE, WDR, & various independent film production companies), and written prolifically for theatre, jazz groups, world music ensembles, and the classical concert hall.

Concert commissions include ‘On Golden Cap’, written for the opening of the Olympic Sailing in 2012 for 180 voices, vibraphone, strings and percussion, ‘The Choice’ written to open The 2014 Bath International Music Festival for Choir and Band, and ‘Carnival Suite’ & ‘Carnival Variations’ written in 2015 for The City of London Sinfonia, 19 Luton schools, and a range of flagship ensembles from Luton Music Hub. ‘Carnival Suite’ was recorded for Charanga and published by Music Sales in 2015. John’s latest concert work ‘The Violin’ was premiered by City of London Sinfonia in Chelmsford Cathedral on November 2018.

Recent and current commissions include 'The Spark' a four year collaboration with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and writer/presenter Claire Henry, for the Commonwealth Games celebrations in Birmingham UK 2022, and 'Transmission' for Soundstorm Music Development Agency; an open access piece for professional band, gifted and talented instrumentalists, beginner instrumentalists, and open access choir, premiered as the finale of the 'Transmission' festival in Bournemouth & Poole UK, Summer 2019.

In 2017 John scored 'The Wish' a brand new young person's guide to the orchestra. In 2019 the piece was nominated for 'Outstanding Classical Music Education Initiative' in the prestigious Rhinegold awards. To date the piece has been performed to around 5000 children and counting! It is scheduled to be recorded by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2020.

John K Miles' music could be described as where 'jazz, world, popular and aural traditions meet classical development' and aims to make immediate and deep connections through an eclectic range of influences and musical traditions that come together in a unique, personal style and voice. He believes in the power of music to transform lives and communities, to bring people together, as well as the benefits for personal well-being.

John has led many creative music workshop projects and collaborations, facilitating composition and performance for a range of clients including London Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Sinfonia Viva, English National Opera, The Roundhouse, B Sharp, New Dimensions, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Southbank Sinfonia, Spitalfields Festival,  Jazzlines THSH, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Anvil Arts, La Folia, Create, Bath Festivals, and City of London Sinfonia.

He was professor on the Leadership Masters course at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama 2008-18.

Before John studied as a composer at Trinity Laban and the National Film and Television School, he studied classical flute with Pat Lynden and Judith Hall and gained a place at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama as a post graduate aged 19. He then studied jazz saxophone with Jean Toussaint and Don Rendell.


As an instrumentalist he’s worked and recorded with a range of artists including reggae star Maxi Priest, UK jazz musicians Tim Garland, Gerard Presencer & Alan Skidmore, classical luminary Howard Moody, master Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale, soul legend Geno Washington and American trumpet virtuoso Terell Stafford, as part of a collaboration between Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning & Jazz at Lincoln Centre in New York. He's released two instrumental albums under his own name, 'The Enchanter' and 'Trane Ride.'

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©John K Miles 2019