Existential Banjo


Episode 1
Little Pink America
with Corky Siegel &
Sons of the Never Wrong

Episode 2
People Get Ready
with Sue Demel, vocals

Episode 3
MTA (Poor Ol' Charlie)
with Tony Trischka

Episode 4
Suite for Americas:  Dorian
with Nora Barton, cello

Episode 5
Midnight Rider
with Darol Anger. violin

Episode 6
Vincent Black Lightning
@ Chicago City Winery

Episode 7
Hasna ya Layla
with Aziz Samaoui, ngoni

Episode 8
Opus 821
with Geraldo de Oliveira

Episode 9
Gaudete & Sleepers Awake
with David Jennings, vibes

Episode 10
Corrina, Corrina
with Aziz Samaoui, ngoni 

Episode 11
with Erkan Ogur
(Concert in Istanbul)

Episode 12
Last Thing On My Mind
with Tom Paxton, songwriter

New Releases

A-sides CD

Fingerstyle guitar with Darol Anger on violin 


Two New Hal Leonard books



To Play on the Banjo 
(co-written with Greg Cahill)


About Michael J. Miles



When Pete Seeger first heard Michael Miles, he sent a letter to Michael saying that "in all my 70 years this is among the most beautiful recordings I’ve ever is enough to make me want to learn the banjo all over again.”

Michael Miles is one of America’s most inventive clawhammer banjo players. Add guitar, vocals, jazz instruments, orchestras and complex historically-themed theatrical presentations to the mix and, two decades later, Michael has a critically acclaimed catalog of original compositions, stage performances, music CD’s and music instruction books.

Michael's performance credits include the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution, Ravinia Festival, Harris Theatre in Chicago, American University in Beirut, Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival in Ireland, MIAM Graduate Conservatory of Music in Istanbul,  and the Royal Opera Theatre in Marrakesh.





Solo Concerts

" a musician's paradise, the viral videos would be artists like Michael J. Miles playing his banjo." 
         - Lyn Bremer, WXRT Chicago

Michael J. Miles solo concerts are as electrifying as they are illuminating.


A master player of a diverse range of banjo styles -- notably clawhammer -- and an equally skilled guitarist, Michael creates a unique kaleidoscope of swirling musical textures that have surprised and delighted audiences on three continents for decades.


Many concerts feature Michael playing highly unusual instruments like his 1855 Ashborn fretless banjo that links soulful 19th century vocals to 20th century blues,  and the  ancient hajuj from Morocco, one the grand elders of the drum-with-string banjo. 

Add to these the overpowering Senegalese Halam and the 18th century gourd banjo, and there is a menu of sounds never before combined.  These influences flowed from his international tours in 2004,  2008, and 2011.  


Whatever the instrument, Michael's artistry and the music he produces consistently transcend expectations and genre.


Think you know what banjo sounds like?
"Crossroads" on an 1855 Ashborn Banjo  

"Miles has dared to take on some of the most dramatic and profound music ever written…and succeeded." 
         - Howard Reich, 
Chicago Tribune


“Most beautiful I’ve heard….this is enough to make me want to learn the banjo all over again.”     - Pete Seeger

 Michael performs "Jack of Diamonds."  This performance is in Meknes, Morocco to an audience only some of whom spoke English, but all of whom appreciated Michael's music.  


In this video, Michael demonstrates this Ashborne banjo and describes more detail about its builder and its magical sounds.  This remarkable instrument was known in 1855 as the "Steinway" of the banjo world.