This Wednesday night at the Hollywood Bowl, comedian and actor Craig Robinson hosts the Black Movie Soundtrack II. Renowned director Reggie Hudlin has curated film clips for the performance and bassist Marcus Miller is the musical director for what promises to be one of the most talked about nights at the Bowl this summer. Last week Craig was a guest in our studios and this morning Marcus stopped by to talk about the show and gave us a behind the scenes look at how it all came together.
First of all I must say I loved Marcus’ new hat. He’s known for his trademark porkpie but he also rocks the stingy brim as well. As a matter of fact, he has his own hat line which you can see on his website, www.MarcusMiller.com . As usual Marcus has been busy. Just since May, he’s been to Montreal, Vienna, Montreux, Italy, Germany, the South of France, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Detroit. I got tired just listening to the list. One good thing is now that his kids are all away at school, his wife is free to travel with him.
Marcus was scheduled for two shows this summer at the Bowl. He was part of Mega Nova, the Carlos Santana Mega Band that performed recently and now the Black Movie Soundtrack II. Marcus says when they did it the first time two years ago, he got more response to that show than anything he’s ever done.
We talked about some new upgrades at the Bowl, as if it needed any. The sound is pristine, there are beautiful new big screen monitors and several tasty new food options. Marcus says he has traveled the world and played at many venues but there is nothing in the world of a comparable size with a better sound system. He also told me that the view from the stage is even better than the view from the audience.
Marcus explained the process behind putting together a show of this magnitude. They had to select and then pursue artists, figure out which movies to feature and which songs to use and then organize the rehearsals. It’s a lot of work but the results are worth it.
We talked about the importance of artistic presentations at the Bowl. The people there are committed to putting together shows that present a wide spectrum of the American cultural landscape. We also talked about “Afrodeesia”, Marcus’s latest recording project and about how he continues to surround himself with creative young talent.
Marcus’ jazz cruises are legendary. It’s the Greatest Party at Sea. In 2017, they will do a Smooth Jazz Cruise, a contemporary jazz cruise and a traditional jazz cruise, offering something for everyone. Between January and February, Marcus will be completely at sea! He fits in with all three formats and even more. It’s a tribute to his versatility, which we will see on full display this Wednesday night at the Hollywood Bowl.
Visit HollywoodBowl.com for more info on the Black Movie Soundtrack II.