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Marcus Miller Named UNESCO Artist For Peace
(Published: July 08, 2013)

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has nominated renowned American jazz musician Marcus Miller as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, according to a press release issued by the U.N. cultural agency.

Miller, who is also a composer, producer and radio host, in his new role 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, Bokova described Miller as an artist "who has touched the hearts and minds of women and men across the world."

She hailed Miller as a "musician's musician who has won all the awards worth winning," and said that the American embodied "the spirit of creativity, freedom and resistance that stands at the heart of music, and especially jazz."

"Drawing on the generosity of music, 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," she added.

Two-time Grammy-winner Miller is best known as an electric bassist, but 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 the U.N. headquarters last March, commemorating the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, celebrated on March 25 every year.

Incidentally, the International Jazz Day was adopted by a U.N. 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 August 23.

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.

UNESCO's Slave Route Project was launched in 1994 with the objectives of contributing to a better understanding of the causes, forms of operation and consequences of slavery in the world; highlighting the global transformations and cultural interactions that have resulted from this history; and contributing to a culture of peace by promoting reflection on cultural pluralism, intercultural dialogue and the construction of new identities and citizenships.

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