Director of the University of Kentucky's prestigious and successful Jazz Studies program, as well a professor of saxophone, Miles Osland cut his professional teeth at an unusually early age. He was just ten when he was playing flute in local San Diego establishments with some of his teachers. Osland successfully combines his roles as a performing artist and an educator. Influenced by Herbie Mann's flute and the saxophones of Johnny Hodges, Paul Desmond, and Cannonball Adderley, his recordings have focused on the possibilities of modern saxophone playing using all four of the more popular members of the sax family: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone. His albums are often on-the-job training opportunities for several the jazz program's more talented students, not only as instrumentalists, but giving them a chance to display their compositional skills as well.
Most of the albums find him working in a small-group scenario. His release Profound Like Gumbo is chamber jazz at a very high level. Recording mostly for the Sea Breeze label, two of his albums, Saxercise and My Old Kentucky Home, have been recommended by the label for a Grammys. On the education side, in addition to his duties at Kentucky University, Osland has written six instructional and technical books on the saxophone. Included are transcriptions and analysis of solos by two of the leading modern practitioners of the saxophone, Bob Mintzer and Jerry Bergonzi. His writings on the art of the saxophone can be found in such publications as Downbeat, Jazz Educators Journal, and Jazz Player Magazine. He is also a Selmer clinician. When he is not working as a performer or running the Jazz Study program, Osland likes to listen to recordings by Michael Brecker, Walt Weiskopf, and Jim Snidero, in addition to CDs by Mintzer and Bergonzi.