Michael Miles and his Deering Goodtime fretless banjo

Michael Miles | Deering Live

Michael J Miles is a composer and musician who grew up in the heart of urban Chicago and teaches at the infamous Old Town School of Music. His inner jukebox spins with 500 years of pop songs on late night radio, infused with conversations about poetry, politics, and singing around the piano with his Irish family. These songs turn into setlists, and compositions and as they say, the rest is history.

To quote his own site, "There are those who represent the American Songbook or one particular style of music. Michael J. Miles and his insatiable banjo cover the world songbook, and many musical styles. Recognized for his virtuosity and musical prowess, he calls it curiosity. Curiosity drives the day. The music he writes or arranges spins right out of the questions he asks."

Michael is an electrifying performer, educator, and bender of genres. You simply have to hear him play.


Below Michael plays and talks about his fretless Deering Goodtime Special openback acoustic/electric banjo. Check it out!


  • Thomas Jane

    Sounds great. I took clawhammer lessons from you in 1984 at the Old Town Folk Music building on Armitage. I still play banjo but mostly three finger.

  • Philip Sanfilippo

    I’ve got a fever… and the only prescription is more Claw Hammer!

  • Meri Harris

    Good gosh!! I love it!!

  • William Snead

    Really enjoy that sound and playing technique of yours, Michael.

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