For over 25 years, Juno Award-winning pianist/composer Andy Milne has demonstrated boundless versatility, collaborating with dancers, visual artists, poets, and musicians spanning jazz, classical, pop, folk, and world music. A distinct and respected voice at the heart of New York’s creative jazz scene, Milne has recorded and toured throughout the world with Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Alessi, Carlos Ward, and Carla Cook, and has collaborated with a range of artists including Andrew Cyrille, Sekou Sundiata, Avery Brooks, Bruce Cockburn, Fred Hersch, Ben Monder and Dianne Reeves. A former student of Oscar Peterson, Milne was at the center of the M-BASE Collective as a core member of saxophonist Steve Coleman’s bands, as well as performing with Cassandra Wilson and Greg Osby. Milne composed and produced the scores for seven documentary films by acclaimed director William Shatner and has released ten recordings as a leader or co-leader.
- What passion project are you working on these days?
Developing music listening models to help people suffering from chronic pain.
- What first inspired you to become a musician/actor/dancer? What was your training?
Hearing Oscar Peterson. I started learning through recordings and then through private teachers before studying at York University. After that, I mentored with experienced musicians in Toronto and New York.
- What are some challenges that you have faced while building a career in the arts and how did you overcome them?
Building an audience, keeping a band together and finding my voice. I overcame most of my challenges through some good fortune but mostly through perseverance and maintaining a creative outlook towards all aspects of my life as an artist.
- What lessons have you learned that have proven the most valuable?
One needs to have a long-term outlook on their career horizon. I’ve also learned that it’s important to realize that my journey is supposed to be different from those who came before me. I’ve also learned that trusting my gut is important.
- What is your WHY? (why do you do what you do?)
I recognize how much of a powerful force music can be in people’s lives. I am continually humbled and inspired by the courage, ingenuity and greatness of so many of the musicians who have come before me. I feel a responsibility to honor the contributions of their journeys.