Jazzman Marcus Miller named UNESCO Artist for Peace

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today nominated renowned American jazz musician, composer, producer and radio host, Marcus Miller, as a UNESCO Artist for Peace. In his new role, Miller will support and promote UNESCO’s Slave Route Project, raising awareness about a phenomenon that has had a profound impact on the modern world, from religion and culture to the human rights movement.

At the induction ceremony, held in the prestigious Hotel de Talleyrand in Paris, Irina Bokova described Marcus Miller as an artist “who has touched the hearts and minds of women and men across the world”;  a “musician’s musician, who has won all the awards worth winning” and  who embodies “the spirit of creativity, freedom and resistance that stands at the heart of music, and especially jazz.”         

“Drawing on the generosity of music,” the Director-General added, “I invite you to promote the UNESCO Slave Route Project -- especially during its 20th anniversary next year -- and all our efforts to build peace through dialogue and respect.”

Two-time Grammy-winner Marcus Miller is best known as an electric bassist, but he is also an accomplished keyboardist, clarinetist/ bass clarinetist. He has over 500 recording credits to his name on albums across a broad spectrum of musical styles, from jazz to R&B and opera, working with such legendary artists as Miles Davis, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Eric Clapton and many others.

Miller began working with UNESCO in April 2012, when he took part in the first International Jazz Day, and then the second edition this year held in Istanbul (Turkey). He also participated in the events at United Nations Headquarters last March, commemorating the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, celebrated each 25 March. This Day was adopted by a UN Resolution in 2007 to complement UNESCO’s International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade, the abolition of which is commemorated every year on 23 August.

As an Artist for Peace, Marcus Miller will work with UNESCO to promote the lessons learnt from the tragedy of slavery and the slave trade, and how they can be used to address many of today’s major issues: national reconciliation, respect for cultural pluralism and the need to construct inclusive and just societies.