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Marcus Miller

Board member, Producer, Composer, Bassist – Luther Vandross, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin

Marcus Miller has been dubbed one of the most influential artists of our time.  At the top of

his game for over 30 years, he is a two-time Grammy award winner, (U.S.), winner of the

2013 Edison Award for Lifetime Achievement In Jazz (Holland), winner of the 2010

Victoire du Jazz (France) and in 2013, was appointed a UNESCO Artist For Peace. His

characteristic bass sound can be heard on a limitless list of musical hits from Bill Wither’s

“Just The Two Of Us” to songs from Chaka Khan, David Sanborn, Herbie Hancock, Eric

Clapton, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Elton John and Bryan Ferry to name a few.

With his distinctive playing style - a unique combination of groove, funk, soul and pure

technical skills - Miller has often been referred to as one of the most significant bass players

in jazz, R&B, fusion and soul. Bass Player Magazine includes him in its’ list of ten most

influential jazz players of this generation.


In addition to these career highlights, Miller has a rich list of outstanding song-writing and

production collaborations to add to his roster, including a 15-year partnership with Luther

Vandross, capped by the hit single “Power of Love/Love Power”. The single went to #1 on

the R&B charts and won the 1992 Grammy for best R&B vocal.


Miller also left an indelible mark on the careers of artists as varied and talented as David

Sanborn, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Bob James, Lalah

Hathaway and Wayne Shorter. Most notable, after several years of touring in Miles Davis’

band in the early 80’s, Miller developed a close personal and professional relationship with

Davis which led to a collaboration on three critically acclaimed albums - the most famous

being the ground-breaking Tutu - making Miller the last primary producer and writing

collaborator of this jazz legend. The album and title song (which Miller produced,

arranged, composed and performed on) is widely regarded as a significant addition to the

canon of contemporary jazz music - not only did the album win two Grammy awards, it is

widely considered to be one of the definitive Miles Davis albums of our time.

Most Marcus aficionados know that as a composer, Miller has an endless list of film and

television credits to his name. Miller rose from writing the go-go mega hit The Butt for

Spike Lee’s 1988 film School Daze to becoming the go-to composer for over 20 top

urban movies. His film scores include the Eddie Murphy/Halle Berry classic “Boomerang”

(1992); “Above The Rim” (feat.Tupac Shakur and Marlon Wayans -1994); “Two Can

Play That Game” (feat. Vivica Fox, Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut and Anthony

Anderson - 2001); “This Christmas” (featuring Idris Elba and Chris Brown - 2007); the

Chris Rock cult classic Good Hair (2009); and “About Last Night” (feat. Kevin Hart

and Regina Bell - 2014). Marcus also supplied the music for the successful weekly TV

series “Everybody Hates Chris” currently in syndication.


Most recently, Miller composed the music for the Oscar nominated film “Marshall”

(2017) starring Chadwick Boseman as a young Thurgood Marshall and Emmy-awardwinning

actor Sterling Brown from the hit TV series “This Is Us”. The film was the

winner of the 2017 Chicago International Film Festival award; the 2017 African American

Film Critics Award; the 2017 Hollywood Film Festival Award, and was also a 2017 Image

Award and Broadcast Film Critics Award nominee.


On top of all of this, Miller has been a prolific solo artist and bandleader for the past 20

years, having released over a dozen albums under his own name and touring extensively

worldwide with a band of gifted young musicians - perhaps reminding audiences of a

certain Miles Davis who had done the same for Marcus and other young musicians like

Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Miller is the composer/producer/arranger and

performer of ten critically acclaimed solo projects, among them The Sun Don’t Lie,

Tales, Silver Rain (feat. guest artist Eric Clapton) Free (feat. guest artist Corinne Bailey

Rae); A Night In Monte Carlo (feat. the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra) and

Renaissance (2012). His album M2 won the Grammy award for best Contemporary Jazz

Album in 2001.

In 2015, Miller released Afrodeezia, an album inspired by his role as a UNESCO

spokesperson for the Slave Routes Project. For that album, Miller aspired to incorporate

musical influences from countries along the Atlantic slave route passage, collaborating with

musicians from West Africa, North Africa, South America and the Caribbean. The album

earned a 2016 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album and Miller

performed more than 250 sold-out shows worldwide behind the album’s release.

Miller’s current project - the new electrifying album Laid Black, due to be released June 1st,

brings the story of the Afrodeezia journey “home” where we find Miller incorporating

more current, urban elements into his music from Trap, Hip-hop, R&B to even Gospel.

Of this music, Miller says: “After Afrodeezia where I did a lot of traveling all over the

world, I thought it would be cool to bring some of the influences of our time that I was

listening to, from right here at home into the mix.”


Anyone who has listened to Miller’s music or experienced Miller’s concerts live, knows

that they are in for quite an experience with the new album. Miller’s unique jazz/funk bass

playing style is out in full force. Miller, along with his incredible band of young talent will

be sure to excite, challenge and transport the audience.


The new album, Laid Black, features special guest performances by Trombone Shorty,

Kirk Whalum, Take 6, Jonathan Butler and guest vocalist Selah Sue.

Laid Black will be sure to thrill and exhilarate Miller fans and will help continue to

propel Miller to the world superstar status of fusion, funk, soul and Jazz Master!

My Moderators Sessions

Tuesday, May 8

9:30am PDT