Spotlight on Marcus Miller: Paying respects to an ancestor of the music that has given me so much in life

Playing Hot is all about jazz: it’s creation, it’s enduring legacy, and the way it’s woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. So today, we’re honored to introduce you to Marcus Miller, the Music Supervisor on Playing Hot, who has been a lead voice weaving music into our show for the past three years of development. Learn more about Marcus below, and catch him on stage in Playing Hot, April 18 – May 12. Grab your tickets now!

Pipeline Theatre Company: Why are you working on this project? What is most exciting to you about being part of Playing Hot?

Marcus Miller: This is my first play and I’m excited to expand my musical horizons doing something a little different than my usual musical life. I have been involved in the project for 3 previous iterations and I really love the team.

PTC: What do you want the folks reading this to know about Playing Hot? What’s the most important element of this project to you?

MM: Jazz music is a deeply Black American creation. The social realities under which it developed, the distinctive rhythmic approach, the view taken of it by the elite all speak deeply to the black American experience. We don’t have much history about our subject, Buddy Bolden, but we can see him through the lens of the times and through some of the fundamental constructs of American culture, some of which  continue to be true today.

PTC: Talk to us about jazz. What’s your relationship to the music?

MM: I have been playing the saxophone all of my adult life. Honored to participate in paying respects an ancestor of the music that has given me so much in life.

PTC: What instrument do you play? When did you first start and what initially drew you to jazz?

MM: I started playing saxophone at 9 years old and got into jazz because my father had a vast jazz record collection. He bought a fake book full of jazz standards and I loved playing the melodies and hearing recording of great musicians playing the songs.

Catch Marcus at his event, Math Plus Music, on April 12 and in Playing Hot April 18 – May 12. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @marcustheartyst.