Miff began playing violin and later accompanied silent pictures on the piano in a local movie house. His career in jazz music began in Brooklyn, and progressed when he played at the Alamo Club with band leader/comedian Jimmy Durante. He joined the Original Memphis Five and played on and off with them until the mid 20s. During his lengthy career he was a radio studio musician and went through periods of hiatus in jazz music. His last gig was in 1960 with Pee Wee Russell.