Andy Milne has established himself as a distinctive voice at the heart of New York's creative jazz scene, performing throughout the world in numerous settings, including collaborations with a range of artists including Ravi Coltrane, Carlos Ward, Carla Cook, Sekou Sundiata, Avery Brooks, Geri Allen, Dianne Reeves, Robin Eubanks, Red Mitchell, and Sonny Greenwich. His innovative rhythmic approach combined with his extensive harmonic lexicon place him at the forefront of young pianists poised to carry on the lineage of creative masters like Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner.
In 1990, after completing an Honors degree in music at York University (where he studied with Oscar Peterson, Pat LaBarbara, and Don Thompson), Milne received a Canada Council grant to study at The Banff Centre. At Banff, he met saxophonist Steve Coleman, who encouraged Milne to move to New York. In 1991, after a year in Montreal picking up valuable sideman experience with Joe Lovano, Archie Shepp, and Ranee Lee, Milne moved to New York and joined Coleman’s core unit Five Elements. M-BASE associates Cassandra Wilson and Greg Osby also recognized his talent and invited Milne to perform with their groups. The long association with Coleman offered Milne the unique opportunity to develop a completely unprecedented harmonic and rhythmic approach to the piano. The experience of responding to and complementing Coleman's unique style night after night played a major role in the development of Milne's individual approach. After six years gaining international recognition with Coleman’s various projects, Milne stepped out on his own to conquer his own musical frontiers.
In 1995, Milne independently booked his band on two extensive grass roots North American tours. Following the first tour, he recorded the self-produced cassette release The 'E' is Silent [Contrology — 1995], featuring Gene Lake, Matthew Garrison, and Audrey Martells. In 1997, Milne recorded his debut CD, Forward to Get Back, [d'Note Records — 1997], which featured performances by Steve Coleman alumni, as well as two duo performances with Coleman himself.
Milne formed Dapp Theory in 1998 to “tell passionate stories, promote peace and inspire collective responsibility towards uplifting the human spiritual condition”. The music seeks to explore the truths that exist in universal wisdom, while creatively expressing life's journeys. In 2001 Milne explored these truths in an ambitious songwriting collaboration with Canadian folk-rock icon Bruce Cockburn which were featured on Dapp Theory’s 2003 Concord Records release Y’all Just Don’t Know.