Body Soul & Spirit
Freedom Jazz Movement (FJM) is lead by drummer, composer Marcus L. Miller. Miller has traveled throughout the world working with artists in Japan, Europe, Australia, and here in North America. After stints with Ben Harper and Bennie Maupin, Miller relocated to Los Angeles, CA in 1997. Miller came onto the scene playing drums for many local artists in the L.A. music scene. Miller recounts, 'Those days were filled with lots of African drum rhythms, reggae riffs, hip hop beats, and relentless swingin'.' It was at this time Miller began to act on some of the melodic ideas and song concepts that he was hearing in his head. He began to sense the direction that his life was to head both musically and personally. After experiencing a myriad of musical moments on all levels, Miller stepped up to the bandleader platform and assumed the reigns. He assembled a core group of musicians and with the collaboration of poet Jennifer Bowens and dancer/ choreographer Tamica-Washington-Miller, Freedom Jazz Movement was born. Freedom Jazz Movement has performed at such venues as the Charles & Harriet Luckman Theatre, The Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, The John Anson Ford Theatre, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, and appeared at various festivals and events throughout North America. The group continues to cover new ground gaining more momentum with each successive year. The debut CD, 'Los Angeles View Suite', was composed for a world premiere dance choreographed by re-known choreographer Lula Washington at L.A.'s Dance Kaleidoscope (1998). The music reflects many of the sounds and rhythms heard throughout various sectors of Los Angeles. The group's discography also includes their second release, 'It's Miller Time', a collage of Miller's musical thoughts, moments, and inspirations released in 2003. The third album is entitled 'Body, Soul, & Spirit'  is dedicated to the memory of Miller's longtime assistant the Late Emily Copada-Cotton. 'M' was our biggest fan, supporter, and donor. Through FJM Miller is free to display his prowess and unique approach to rhythm and sound supported by a talented cast of musical artists. The group is a jazz-based ensemble (quartet or quintet), or at times performs with Miller as a solo accompanist for the poetry and dance. Miller states, 'I give the musicians plenty of room for free creative expression within the music. If that's not there, then it's not jazz.' Miller is author to all of the group's material (except the standards); the music is rooted in the traditions of American Jazz with flavorings of West African and Afro-Cuban rhythmic influences...real FOLK music.