The Boulder Source caught up with the amazing Hazel Miller, whose phenomenal voice and talent has made her one of Colorado’s top-loved singers and performers.
Can you tell us about how your love of singing started?
“I’ve always sung. There are seven of us: four girls, three boys. When my mother and father were at work, which was six days a week, we would do homework and we had to stay in…We loved the Ed Sullivan Show so we started doing our own. The girls would sing four-part harmony and we would sing whatever was on the radio.”
Who are your top musical inspirations?
“I’ve been listening to the radio all my life and I’ve been watching any variety show on TV. On Sundays, that was our big treat before we went to bed. So, I’ve seen [on TV] Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Laney Kazaam, Kate Smith. I love women who have big, powerful voices. And I’ve always wanted to be that woman.”
What are your favorite venues you’ve played in?
“Red Rocks. Boulder Theater. Paramount, love The Paramount in Denver.”
Do you perform mostly in Colorado? What about other states?
“I’ve got to travel the entire country several times with Big Head Todd and The Monsters. So, I’ve played just about every large, medium, and small venue you can imagine. These guys (BHT) are my heroes, they’re the best…parents must be so proud.”
Can you tell us about some of your most interesting performances?
“I sang for the TED Conferences, one song every morning for 11 years. Acapella. My first TED Conference was in Kobe, Japan, and Herbie Hancock walked up to me and he said, “would you sing with us tonight?” And I got to sing with Herbie Hancock. Freaked. Me. Out.”
How did you meet or select your band members?
“My keyboard player, Dana, he and I have been together…oh my goodness, almost 35 years. He was the only person I knew when I got to Colorado. The bass player and I have been working together about 20, 25 years. We met the drummer about three, four years ago. My new guitar player is 21 years old. Last July 3rd, his vocal group was the opener. He just walked up and started talking to us. Then he came to rehearsal, I gave him three songs and he knocked them out out of the park. You need to hear him sing. The other keyboard player is Matt. He has pulled us out of many, many fires LOL.”
Can you tell me about your practices? How often do you practice?
“Every Wednesday from 11 to 2 pm unless we’re working on Wednesday.”
What do you love most about performing?
“People dancing. The most fun is when they stop dancing and start singing along. That is the greatest compliment — I feel like Aretha Franklin. I feel like, I don’t care what happens tomorrow, or what happened yesterday. Right now, I’m the Queen of the May [laughs]. Right now they’re digging it, and that’s all that matters.
How do you like to wind down from shows?
“I’m a TV junkie. I am. I love NCIS, Elementary…I love cop shows… I’ve got my glass of water, I’ve got my hummus, I’ve got my peanut chips, and I’m rockin ‘n rollin’.”
Tell us how you made Colorado your home?
“The greatest gift God ever gave me was he made my UHAUL truck breakdown in Colorado. I’ve been here since 8.14.1984…I am home.”
“I like where I am. I’ve been blessed.”
To learn more about Hazel Miller and her band, visit: http://www.hazelmiller.com/band.cfm