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Marcus Miller: Music Intertwined With Life

The prolific bassist/bandleader/producer talks about his role as musical director and host on the various jazz cruises

Marcus Miller on the 2017 Blue Note at Sea Cruise
Marcus Miller on the 2017 Blue Note at Sea Cruise. Miller is set to be one of three musical hosts for this year’s cruise.

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Marcus Miller has been a first-call bassist since the late 70s, when his distinctive jangly rhythmic sound seemed to be on every jazz and funk cut of note—from “Just the Two of Us” with Grover Washington, Jr. and Bill Withers to “Power of Love” with Luther Vandross.  A member of Miles Davis’ comeback band in 1981, Miller developed a close personal and professional relationship with the trumpeter, and produced some of his most successful albums, including Tutu and Amandla.  He has produced many other artists, ranging from Wayne Shorter to David Sanborn. For the last 20+ years, Miller has been a prolific bandleader and touring artist, and has released nearly a dozen albums under his own name, including his most recent Afrodeezia on Blue Note.  He’s also scored numerous films and TV specials. In addition to his work as a producer and bandleader, Miller has served as musical director and host for the various jazz cruises produced by Michael Lazaroff and Entertainment Cruise Productions.  He talked with JazzTimes about his role with those cruises and what he enjoys most about the experience.

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