biography

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Marcus L. Miller

Marcus is a multi-talented artist/percussionist based in Southern California. He is the founder and musical director of Freedom Jazz Movement, a performance art ensemble. Miller is also the director of the percussion ensemble Project World Drum and the bandleader of the Marcus Miller ensemble. Miller is a co-member of M & M...the Afro-Persian Experience. He serves as the Music Director for the Lula Washington Dance Theatre.

Marcus is a member of the Recording Academy, the American Federation of Musicians Union, and Chamber Music America. Miller, a SESAC affiliate, also serves as president of Universe Soul Records. Professionally, Marcus endorses Remo, Innovative Percussion, Istanbul Mehmet cymbals, Electro Voice, and Rhythm Tech products.

Marcus is an artist for the Universe Soul Records label. Since 2001, he has recorded and released 16 albums for the label.  A composer and songwriter, Miller has recorded and toured with his ensembles Freedom Jazz Movement, Boujoubumbastick, Project World Drum & the Marcus Miller Ensemble. His latest musical project is called the Afro-Persian Experience. The group is a duo which features Mehdi Bagheri on kamancheh and Marcus on his one-of-a-kind percussion kit.

In June 2016, the Marcus Miller Ensemble, accompanied the Lula Washington Dance Theatre performing 4 nights at the Israeli Opera House in Tel-Aviv.  In November 2015, Marcus and his jazz band traveled to Russia to headline the Vladivostock jazz festival. In 2011, they toured 20 cities in China with the Lula Washington Dance Theatre. Marcus has also performed in Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, and throughout Europe. He has played many notable venues and festivals, both internationally and nationally, including Reggae on the River, the San Jose jazz festival, the Lincoln Center out of doors festival, the Virginia Arts festival,  the Broad stage in Santa Monica, and Grand Performances' California Plaza, and most recently at the Wallis Annenberg theater in Beverly Hills.

Marcus' film credits include music licensed for several independent films and documentaries including "Love and other 4 letter words" (2006), "My Girlfriend's Back" (2008), Twentieth Century Fox's "Avatar the last Airbender" (2010), "Beyond the Drum" (2011), "Movement with Meaning" (2012), and "My Critic" (2017).

As a professional drummer, Marcus has recorded, toured, and performed with many artists including Ben Harper & the innocent criminals, Sheila E., Vinx, The Watts Prohphets, Bennie Maupin, Trevor Hall, Ozomatli, Ashanti, Bobby Bryant Jazz Poetry Collective, Leon Mobley & Da Lion, Michelle Shocked, and the Angel City Chorale. A former Disney cast member, he performed in both the Lion King and Eureka parades at Disneyland (1996-2001).

In 1998, Marcus began working with youth in Southern California at St. Elmo Village. It was there he founded the percussion group, the Young Drummers of Los Angeles, for drummers ages 10-16. From 2001-2017, he taught percussion at the William Grant Still art center. Between 2006-2013, Miller and his ensemble Freedom Jazz Movement performed at local Southern CA schools as roster artists for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Over the years, Marcus has worked extensively with various local Southern California museums, schools, libraries, art centers, and art organizations including LACMA, C.A.A.M., LAPL, P.S. Arts, Jack & Jill LA chapter, The Skirball Center, & The Lula Washington Dance Theatre. Miller has worked on projects in the Caribbean, Mexico, NYC, & CA with New York's Global Arts to Go. In the summer of 2017, Marcus launched his initial Summer Drum Camp for youth in Los Angeles, CA. Miller currently works with the youth at Open Magnet Charter School in Los Angeles as their STOMP musical director.

Miller is also a writer. He has authored one book, The Zen Art of Drumming, and written countless works of poetry. To his credit, Marcus also produces documentaries and is presently creating a series of new mini-docs.

* For the complete biography & discography, please click below

part 1 part 2  part 3 part 4 discography

 

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