M & M… the Afro-Persian Experience is a duo featuring Persian kamancheh master Mehdi Bagheri and artist/percussionist Marcus L. Miller. Based in Southern California, the group was formed in 2016.
The music consists of all original compositions created by Bagheri & Miller. It is deeply rooted in the traditions of ancient Persia and Africa. Their unique sound results from the natural contrast of their individual musical styles as well as the expression of their passion for the music.
In the short time of their formation, the group has performed at local venues in Southern California and recorded a debut CD due for release in 2019. The duo has licensed music for an independent film called “My Critic” and is collaborating with choreographers from the Lula Washington Dance Theatre on an upcoming dance premiere.
Concerts • Festival performances • Master Classes • Clinics/Sessions
Mehdi Bagheri is a composer and multi-instrumentalist born in Kermanshah, Iran. His earliest musical endeavors included study of several traditional Iranian instruments, before selecting the kamanche as his primary instrument. He studied extensively under Maestros Kayhan Kalhor and Ardeshir Kamkar. In the early 2008s, he recorded and published the radif (traditional melodic techniques passed down orally from master to student across generations) of the legendary Maestro Aliakbar Khan Shahnazi. Mehdi has performed worldwide at festivals such as the Morgenland Festival, Théâtre de la Ville, and the Oslo World Music Festival, as well as appearing on joint concert with the Berlin Radio Choir, featuring performances of his works in the RBB Hall.
In Iran and abroad, Mehdi has been dynamically pursuing his work in different fields such as music in film, eclectic music and Iranian classical music. He has also published a variety of works with a great many number of singers and musicians. Amongst all, his most important works include recording and publishing the radif (the old melodic figures preserved through many generations by oral tradition) by Maestro Ali-Akbar Shahnazi; solo and group pieces for Kamanche, and more.
Marcus L. Miller
Artist/Percussionist Marcus L. Miller is a multi-instrumentalist based in Southern California. He is the Artistic Director of the performance art ensemble Freedom Jazz Movement and the bandleader of the percussion ensemble Project World Drum. He also serves as Musical Director and consultant for the modern dance company Lula Washington Dance Theatre. Miller is President of his record label Universe Soul Records and is also the founder & director of the Young Drummers of Los Angeles. Marcus is a member of Chamber Music America, a voting member of the Recording Academy, a member of American Federation of Musicians Local 47, a composer for Heavy Harmony Music publishing, and a SESAC affiliate artist.
Miller has recorded and released 14 CDs for his label and has also written music for several independent films and documentaries including Movement with a meaning, Beyond the Echo of the drum, Love and other 4 letter words, My girlfriend’s back, and the 20th Century fox DVD release of Avatar the Last Airbender.
Marcus began his professional music career in 1995. He has toured internationally & nationally performing with many groups including Ben Harper, The Watts Prophets, Sheila E., Ashanti, and BoujouBumBastick. Since 2006, he and his ensemble, the Marcus Miller Ensemble, have performed extensively with the Lula Washington Dance Theatre. This collaboration of Black American music and Black modern dance continues to redefine and reflect a unique “Black American cultural perspective”. Highlight performances include the Lincoln Center out of doors festival (2006), a six-week tour of Russia (2009), the International Book Fair festival in Guadalajara, MX (2009), a 15-city tour of China (2011), the Amazon Dance Festival in Manaus,BR (2011), the 2012 San Jose jazz festival, and a 3-week Russia/Siberia tour (2013), and a 4 night run at the Israeli Opera house in Tel Aviv (2016).
In 2015, Miller and his ensemble headlined the 12th annual Vladivostock International Jazz Festival in Vladivostock, Russia. He also started working with a group of artists called Panoply...a collaboration of musicians, dancers, poets, and graphic/visual artists to develop new technology that bridges and advances the presentation of these artistic mediums.