Miyama played in a navy military band during World War II, and after the war joined the Lucky Puppy Orchestra. He led his own ensemble from 1950; initially called Jive Ace, the group expanded to big-band size and changed its name to The New Herd in 1958. The ensemble's arranger was Kozaburo Yamaki. New Herd recorded with Charles Mingus in 1971 and toured worldwide throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Miyama led the ensemble for more than fifty years, continuing to perform into the 2000s.