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Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 26, 1954, he began playing guitar at the age of 12 and came under the sway of rock guitar icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck along with blues gods like B.B., Freddie and Albert King. His earliest experiences with jazz guitar came via Charlie Christian and later Joe Pass. Milkowski studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1977.
In May of 1987, Milkowski was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent surgery and following radiation therapy. A benefit to help defray the costs of his rehabilitation was held at the old Tramp's nightclub on 15th Street in New York. The evening was hosted by JJA's Howard Mandel and featured such artists as John Scofield, Michael Brecker, Danny Gottlieb, John Zorn, Mike and Leni Stern, and others. Milkowski's own band The Pit Bulls also performed. From 1991 to 1992, he served as co-host for "The Other Half," a Saturday morning blues show on radio station WNYE.
In 1993, Milkowski moved to New Orleans, where he indulged in all manner of decadence and over-eating and second lining. During his three-year stay in the Crescent City, he served as the overnight dj on radio station WWOZ. His "Milkman's Matinee" program, which aired from 2-5 a.m., was a particular favorite with insomniacs and musicians coming home from their gigs. His daughter Sophie (pictured on the back inner sleeve in "Rockers, Jazzbos & Visionaries") was born in New Orleans on April 1, 1995.
Milkowski returned to New York in October of 1996 and presently resides in Washington Heights—so far Uptown that Harlem is Downtown.
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