Board of Directors: Marcus Miller

Marcus Miller is a composer, producer, arranger and world renowned jazz bass guitarist. He is also a two-time Grammy winner. Over the past 30 years, his name has appeared on album credits for some of the world’s most respected and accomplished artists.

Marcus was born in 1959 and raised in a musical family that included his father, William H. Miller and the late great jazz pianist Wynton Kelly. At an early age, Marcus was more than proficient on clarinet, piano and bass guitar and by 17 he was playing and composing music for jazz flutist Bobby Humphrey and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith. In 1982, Marcus began collaborating with the late great R&B singer Luther Vandross and by 23 years old, he found himself with his first #1 tune: “Jump to It,” performed by Aretha Franklin. The single became Aretha’s biggest pop hit since 1974, was nominated for a Grammy and held the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart for four consecutive weeks.

Marcus contributed to well over half of Luther’s albums as a producer, composer and performer. Their songwriting/ producing partnership lasted well over 15 years and was capped by the hit single “Power of Love/Love Power” which won the Grammy for Best Rhythm & Blues song in 1991.

Marcus also composed, arranged and produced songs for numerous jazz artists including George Benson, Joe Sample, David Sanborn and Bob James. Notably, Marcus was the last primary collaborator for jazz legend Miles Davis, contributing the composition and album Tutu to the canon of contemporary jazz music. Marcus composed and arranged all but two songs on the album and co-produced the album with musical producing legend Tommy Lipuma. Miles received the 1987 Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist Grammy award for Tutu.

The 1980 David Sanborn album Hideaway and its followup Voyeur were also Marcus Miller projects. Sanborn won a Grammy performing Marcus’s composition “All I Need Is You.” Through his work with Sanborn, Marcus laid out the blueprint for the often-copied contemporary jazz sounds of today.

Marcus also has more than 200 film and television credits as a musician and composer. He rose from writing the gogo mega-hit “The Butt” for Spike Lee’s 1988 film School Daze to becoming the go-to composer for 20+ films. His film scores include the Eddie Murphy/Halle Berry 1992 classic Boomerang, Two Can Play That Game (2001), This Christmas (2007), the Chris Rock documentary Good Hair (2009) and most recently About Last Night (2014). Marcus also supplied the music for the successful TV series Everybody Hates Chris currently in syndication.

Marcus has also maintained a successful solo career. He is the composer/producer/arranger and performer of ten critically acclaimed solo albums. In 2001, he won the Grammy for best Contemporary Jazz Album with his album M2.

In July 2013, Marcus was appointed to be a UNESCO Artist for Peace and currently serves as the worldwide spokesperson for the UNESCO Slave Routes project. He is currently working on his ninth solo album, Afrodezzia, to be released in early 2015.