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Having directed big bands, neo-soul collectives and contemporary rock-classical ensembles in England, Millie relocated to Chicago in 2021 to move closer to the source of jazz and centralize her sound. Her music houses the thoughts and feelings of a British transgender musician navigating expressions of queerness in jazz, focusing largely on transformation and the coming of the self into new life. Millie's debut record 'Octagyn' (World Heart Beat Records) was released in 2022 and precedes work on her upcoming record, 'Theyness.'

During her time at Oxford University, Millie directed university big band ‘The Donut Kings’ through black- and white-tie events across Oxford and London, her tenure culminating in a European tour that concluded at Bilbao’s Kafe Antzokia. Among other key roles during this time were with neo-soul collective ‘Elephantasy,’ contemporary jazz quintet ‘About Life,’ jazz-rock ensemble 'Introspection' (led by composer and guitarist Julian Woods), contemporary classical-electronic ensemble ‘Baker’s Dozen’ (led by composer and pianist Harry Baker), and the 'Hot Fruit Orchestra' with Gaz Coombes. Millie was also involved in several recording projects, including ‘All In’ – the inaugural album of the independent label ‘JazzSoc Records,' written and recorded by SNARP – and ‘Project Albus’ – a pop-classical synthesis album written and recorded by Indian Young Musician of the Year, Tanay Joshi.

Millie’s latest recording project, Octagyn (World Heart Beat Records, 2022), is her debut release as leader. Recorded with other members of the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy in London, Octagyn is a distillation of the thoughts and feelings of a neurodivergent, queer musician navigating extended isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. It exists as an expression of rawness, embracing the erratic and uncertain lines woven between queerness and jazz and establishing processes of healing. The album draws inspiration from a variety of sources bridging Bheki Mseleku, Kenny Garrett, Kenny Wheeler, Mulgrew Miller and Julian Joseph, forging a space for both introspection and flamboyance to coalesce. Octagyn was launched to a live audience of over 100 on January 24th, 2023 at Evanston SPACE. Read more about the Octagyn project here.


Since moving to Chicago, Millie has established four ensembles: original music group 'Millie and the Octagyn Collective,' the Millie Ahearn Quintet, the Millie Ahearn Trio and NOLA quartet 'Don Juan's Brass Disaster.' She has also had the fortune to perform with Martha and the Vandellas, members of The Temptations and The Platters, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Chicago Heritage Orchestra, the Blueshift Big Band, the Kabir Dalawari Quintet and the Julia Danielle Quintet, in addition to Marques Carroll, Derrick Gardner, Ernie Adams, Jeremy Kahn, Gregory Artry Jr., Roger Ingram, Chris Greene, Jon Deitemyer, Chris Madsen, Julius TuckerMorgan Pirtle and others. In Illinois, she has presented her original music at The Fulton St. Collective, Evanston SPACE, The Epiphany Center for the Arts, The Whistler and Northwestern University, alongside performances as sidewoman at Andy's Jazz Club, the Des Plaines Theatre, Cantigny Jazz and Wine Fest, Winnetka Music Festival, Oaktoberfest, Riotfest, NOLA North, the United Center and Wrigley Field. Other engagements have taken her to Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. She currently holds an adjunct brass position at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago and is an alumnus of both Northwestern University and The University of Oxford.

Previously, Millie had studied in London under Julian Joseph, James Joseph, Trevor WatkisTony Kofi, Byron Wallen, Gerard Presencer and Mornington Lockett. This offered her opportunities to perform in venues such as the Cadogan Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, Fairfield Halls, St. John's Smith Square and the Royal Academy of Music, in addition to numerous European venues while on tour.


Buy or stream Octagyn here:



Apple Music

Amazon Music

YouTube Music


For all things Millie:





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