Sue Miller – Cuban Flute Improviser, Writer & Academic

  • welcome2015

    Latin Improvisation Aesthetics in New York: SEM Panel Presentation Added: November 15th, 2015

    Sue’s panel at the Society for Ethnomusicology’s annual conference in Texas Austin takes place on 3 December at 4pm. Also on the panel are renowned scholars of Latin American music Professor David Garcia (University of North Carolina) and Dr Ben Lapidus (CUNY).
    Panel Abstract: ‘Clave feel’ is often cited as one of the main elements of Afro-Cuban/salsa improvisation yet very little to date has been done to demonstrate this concept analytically. Building on research in this area by Christopher Washburne, Peter Manuel, David Garcia, Robin Moore, Lise Waxer, and Robert Farris Thompson, scholars of Latin improvisation consider how clave remains a point of tradition, pride, and practice for many performers of Afrocuban music in New York City. Brass, woodwind and piano clave-based improvisation styles are examined to demonstrate how clave feel can define both the artistry and identity of performers. Ethnographic research informs the musical analyses of solo improvisations from both recordings and live performances to demonstrate how clave sensibility permeates the artistic work of New York-based Latin soloists.

  • NIMiMS2-

    Music Symposium in Helsinki, 20-21 November, 2015 Added: November 13th, 2015

    Sue will be presenting a paper ‘Getting into Bed with the Cultural Theorists’ at the NIMiMS conference to demonstrate how the detailed analysis of sound connects directly to cultural aspects of the music and to advocate closer working partnerships with scholars in musicology and cultural studies.The aim of the symposium is to bridge gaps and create positive dialogue between different approaches within music studies. The symposium is focused on two questions.
    [1] How can music analysis and cultural studies benefit from each other?
    [2] How can music theory and musical practice benefit from each other?
    Organizing parties: NIMiMS, Musicology at the Helsinki University Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory, and the Finnish Music Archive JAPA.

  • Sue and Yudnara flute and guiro

    Son Yambu with Special Guest Sue Miller London 23 November 2015 Added: October 24th, 2015

    Sue is performing Cuban music at a lecture by Katia Chornik to launch her new book: Alejo Carpentier: Blurring Genres (Monday 23rd November at 6.30. Instituto Cervantes, 102 Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AN). The event will include live Cuban music by Son Yambu ( with special guest Sue Miller, and will be followed by drinks.
    Reserve your seat at

  • leeds beckett

    New lecturing post at Leeds Beckett University Added: October 5th, 2015

    Moving back up north I am now senior lecturer in music at Leeds Beckett University. Based in the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts I now lecture on the BA (Hons) in Production and Performance and on the music MA courses there. Supervision areas include Cuban music, improvisation, popular music analysis and ethnomusicology.

  • Rianne van Male's design

    New Charanga del Norte Recording ‘Atilana’ Added: September 1st, 2015

    New Charanga del Norte recording with prize winning design by Rianne van Male, a graphic design student from Anglia Ruskin University.

  • Activating Diverse Musical Creativities

    New Publication for 2015: Chapter on Improvisation in Higher Education Added: December 29th, 2014

    “This book treats with freshness and vitality issues that are crucial for educators in higher education and beyond. The international and multi-disciplinary group of scholars – anthropologists, psychologists, musicians, artists and art educators – engage us in deeply educational issues and experiences…Enthusiastically recommended!” – Liora Bresler, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, University of Illinois, USA

  • My new book

    New Review of Cuban Flute Style by John Robert Brown in Jazz Journal Added: July 10th, 2014

    Cuban Flute Style is thus a contextualised, analytical study, arising from a combination of Miller’s lessons from Egües, her research in Havana and New York, her subsequent experiences as a charanga bandleader, and the completion of a Leeds University PhD undertaken to study the processes involved in learning the charanga style of improvisation.

  • BfE and AAWM Conference in London on 1-4 July Added: June 21st, 2014

    My paper is on 2 July:

    Title: Analyzing Clave feel within melodic-rhythmic ‘mambo’ improvisation


    ‘Clave feel’ is often cited as one of the main elements of Cuban and salsa improvisation yet very little to date has been done to demonstrate this concept analytically whether using notation- or purely text-based analysis. The mambo-style solos of flautist José Fajardo are analysed here in order to demonstrate this clave concept using annotated transcriptions of recorded solos to demonstrate the relationship between the two-bar timeline of clave and melodic-rhythmic improvisation characteristic of Cuban and Latin popular styles.

  • My new book

    Review of Cuban Flute Style by Bill McBirnie Added: June 20th, 2014

    Let me begin by saying that Sue Miller’s Cuban Flute Style is an extraordinarily comprehensive oeuvre, with respect to both the history and the technique of charanga flute playing. In addition, her book is realized with a broad as well as a thoughtful understanding of the entire tradition on which this style of music is based.

  • My new book

    BOOK LAUNCH 10 May LONDON SENATE HOUSE Added: April 2nd, 2014

    book launch for Cuban Flute Style@
    Saturday 10th May 2014

    Room G22-26 (Ground Floor)
    Senate House, Malet Street
    London WC1E 2HU

    A morning of presentations finishing with:

    3.00pm Sue Miller (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge), BOOK LAUNCH: Cuban Flute Style: Interpretation and Improvisation (Scarecrow Press 2013).

    3.45pm Tea followed by live music performed by Charanga del Norte (Cuban charanga music which forms the focus of Sue Miller’s book).