Apart from presenting on Jazz FM, Marcus Miller’s day job is as a jazz composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, but he is best known as a bass guitarist. Throughout his career, Marcus worked with trumpeter Miles Davis, pianist Herbie Hancock, singer Luther Vandross, and saxophonist David Sanborn, as well as maintaining a successful solo career. He is classically trained as a clarinetist and also plays keyboards, saxophone and guitar.
Marcus was born in Brooklyn, New York City, in 1959 and raised in a musical family. By 13, Marcus was proficient on clarinet, piano and bass guitar, and already writing songs. Two years later he was working regularly in New York City, eventually playing bass and writing music for jazz flutist Bobbi Humphrey and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith. Miller soon became a first call session musician, appearing on over 500 albums by such artists as Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock, Mariah Carey, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Frank Sinatra, George Benson, Dr. John, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Grover Washington, Jr., Donald Fagen, Bill Withers, Chaka Khan, LL Cool J and Flavio Sala.
As a composer, he wrote all but two of the songs on Tutu for Miles Davis, including its title track – a piece that defined Davis's career in the late 1980s. He also composed "Chicago Song" for David Sanborn and co-wrote "'Til My Baby Comes Home", "It's Over Now", "For You to Love", and "Power of Love" for Luther Vandross.
Marcus has won numerous Grammy Awards as a producer for Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, David Sanborn, Bob James, Chaka Khan and Wayne Shorter. He won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1992, for Luther Vandross' "Power of Love" and in 2001 he won for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for his seventh solo instrumental album, M². His 2015 album, Afrodeezia, earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.
In 2012 he was appointed an UNESCO Artist for Peace supporting and promoting the UNESCO Slave Route Project. He is a regular advocate of International Jazz Day and in 2016 performed for President Obama and the First Lady at the Whitehouse for the big International Jazz Day conce