Marcus Miller interview: Cambridge News

Thursday 22 October 2015

Marcus Miller has been interviewed by Andrew Burton in the Cambridge News. Read the full interview here.

Book tickets for Marcus Miller at the Corn Exchange here.

Marcus Miller was named as UNESCO Artist for Peace and a spokesperson for The Slave Route Project in 2013. He used this opportunity to raise awareness through his music. He collaborated with musicians from countries which had been ‘stops’ along the North Atlantic Slave Route, including Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Rio De Janeiro, Trinidad, New Orleans and other cities in the US and Africa.

The result of this collaboration was his début Blue Note Album Afrodeezia, a unique combination of sounds from America, Africa, South America and the Caribbean, which he will play tracks from at the Corn Exchange later this month.

Andrew Burton interviewed Marcus Miller to find out more about his experience:

How did the album Afrodeezia come about?

“I was named by UNESCO as the spokesperson for ‘The Slave Route Project’ a couple of years ago. My job is to help raise awareness of the story of the slave trade. Particularly among young people who may not be educated about it.  So rather than just speak about it, instead of just talking about the injustice and the horror and also the resilience of the enslaved people, I decided to use my music to help tell the story... The album is a celebration of rhythm. It's full of joy that was inspired by the resilience of my ancestors who maintained their dignity through years and years of slavery..."

You've played with some of the world's greatest musicians.  Who have you most enjoyed collaborating with, and why?

"I enjoyed working with Roberta Flack; I learned to play a ballad with her... Miles Davis showed me that you don't have to play all the notes, just the good ones. He really focused on playing thoughtfully not just playing a lot of fast notes. He also showed me that you have to trust your instincts and play music that you feel regardless of what others say."

What do you hope Cambridge audiences will feel when they hear your music?

"I hope they experience all the emotions of everyday life - joy, love sorrow, pain - and the urge to get up and dance when the beat hits their funny bone."

The full interview will be published in Cambridge News on Thursday 22 October.

This performance is part of the cornex:discover series, which brings innovative acts to the Corn Exchange, encouraging audiences to try something new.