Last month Chicago Music Exchange hosted a wonderful night of great music and a meet and greet with Grammy award winning bass guitarist extraordinare Marcus Miller. He has had his own solo career, collaborations with many musicians and artist throughout his career, it is relationship and friendship with the late Luther Vandross where I truly fell in love with his sound and his magic.
He is a producer and has scored a host of movies and television shows which many of have heard the music and listened to its melody but did not realize it was him and his bass guitar or his way of musically make a scene come alive frame by frame. He has given us jazz, funky funk in rhythm and blues, and genres in between.
In 1987, I went to the Budweiser Superfest at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. It was a great line up because besides Luther there was also Patti LaBelle, The Whispers, and a host of others. The show started at 3:00p and my friends and I made sure we were planted in our seats no later that 2:00p
It was a great night but when the bass guitarist hit that first note in “Bad Boy Having A Party” my ear perked up, my body was ready, and my happy feet gave way to a wonderful evening. That point forward I have been a huge fan. I have now seen him live at various jazz festivals and other events but never thought I could scratch off my bucket list, one day meet Marcus Miller.
The Chicago Music Exchange sent invite via social media and I immediately registered to attend. As the days leading up to the night of the event, I had to keep my mind occupied with other things so I would not go into overload fan girl in my head. I kept saying to myself “he puts his pants on one leg at a time” to keep from over exciting myself with anticipation of meeting one of the greatest bass guitarist extraordinare.
The night of the event those in attendance were also fans but they were musicians who at one point have worked with him or local musicians wanting pearls of wisdom from the genius extraordinare. When he arrived I to catch myself from running up to him saying how much I have adored his music over the years but thank goodness I thought better of it because I did not want to scare him back to his bus.
The beauty sometimes of my height often times I can maneuver my way to the front and on this night I was like a ninja moving stealthily to the front where I see facial expressions and finger movement glide across those strings.
Every song he played and every note that came from his guitar sent me back to why I originally fell in love his his music and his musicianship. He gave the group his time and his love of the craft. The question and answer session was the best. I am not a musician but have worked in the music industry and have family members still heavily entrenched in the industry as well but the questions asked and his answers made me appreciate the knowledge I learned.
By the end of the night I was in love with spirit of giving the musicians tips and sharing of wisdom and knowledge of the business of music, and the ability to give of himself to make us all feel like we were his friends sitting in his living room having a jam session.
Afterwards, I had the chance to speak with him and take some pictures. By the time we were taking the pictures, he had made us all feel so welcomed into his world my nervousness and over anticipated excitement had tampered down and I became a fangirl without the extra overzealous fandamonium that was in my head and spirit.
It is now crossed off my bucket list to meet genius extraordinare Marcus Miller. I am a happy woman who now listens to Luther and many others including Marcus’s solo project with a deeper love and respect but also with a more enriched love for the sound of his music and musicianship with his fellow community of those in the industry. He gave all of us wonderful pearls of wisdom, great music, and friendship.
This was one night I was to cool for school and I loved it! It was a great way end out the Summer and a delightful treat.
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