MP3 Marcus Johnson - The Phoenix
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11 MP3 Songs in this album (48:15) !
Related styles: JAZZ: Smooth Jazz, JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo
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Nationally-known smooth jazz keyboardist Marcus Johnson has personified the independent spirit. While working on his JD/MBA at Georgetown University, Marcus decided to independently produce and distribute a jazz album. The product of that decision, Lessons in Love, launched his career as both a jazz musician and CEO of Marimelj Entertainment Group, LLC (MEG). Almost a decade later, Marcusâs foresight is undeniable. Lessons in Love went on to sell 40,000 which is a phenomenal success for a debut album by a relatively unknown artist. Marcus has continued to solidify his success in the recording industry with 8 Billboard chart-topping jazz CDs and sits at the helm of a rapidly expanding independent record label.
Buoyed by the success of his debut album, Lessons in Love, Marcus released his sophomore effort, Inter Alia, to critical acclaim. This led to Marcus signing a record deal with N2K Encoded Music. N2K renamed the album Chocolate City Groovin' and re-released it under the N2K label. When N2K was sold, Marcus was able to reclaim his rights to his masters (another amazing feat) and, again, started releasing CDs under the Marimelj Banner. Since then, Marcus has released six (?) more albums, including Just Doing What I Do, In Person: Live @ Blues Alley, Smooth Jazz Christmas and he will release The Phoenix in February of 2007. Marcus has also released a DVD, which features some of his fansâ favorite tunes and replicates the exhilarating vibe of his live performances.
For nearly one year, Marcus was the co-host of the morning show on Washington, DCâs Smooth Jazz 105.9FM (WJZW-FM). He also serves as the resident Entertainment Expert at Washingtonâs FOX5 (WTTG-TV) and appears weekly on the FOX5 Morning Show in a segment called âIdol Chatterâ, where he provides a commentary on FOXâs American Idol series.
Noting Marcusâs determination to succeed, demonstrated business savvy and potential to become one of the music industryâs premier jazz performers, BET founder Robert L. Johnson (no relation) invested in MEG, becoming Marcusâs business partner. Under Marcusâs direction, MEG includes not only Washington, DC-based Three Keys Music, but it is also home to a fully-functional recording studio, Studio 8121 East, and two music publishing companies, Marimelj Music Publishing and Three Keys Music Publishing. Since its inception, Three Keys has been home to Jaared (saxophonist), Michael Lington (saxophonist), Bobby Lyle (pianist), Nick Colionne (guitarist) Alyson Williams (vocalist) and YahZarah (vocalist) in addition to many other exceptional musicians.
In the last few years, Marcus has been honored with the U.S. Small Business Administrationâs Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, was named one of EBONY magazineâs Most Eligible Bachelors of 2004 and was one of five entrepreneurs worldwide to be nominated for Black Enterprise magazineâs 2005 Small Business Rising Star Award. Marcus has performed at numerous venues throughout the United States and has been a featured performer at a number of jazz festivals and events including, The Capital Jazz Fest, Ghana Jazz Fest, Bermuda Jazz Fest, Atlantic Artscape, Huntington Beach Jazz Fest, the National Smooth Jazz Awards and the Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Marcus credits entertainment industry moguls Robert L. Johnson, Quincy Jones and Clive Davis, as well as triple threat artists Earth, Wind and Fire, P. Diddy and Jay-Z, as inspiration for his achievements. He channels their entrepreneurial spirits, ensuring his own success and has sold more than 100,000 total albums. Marcusâs has established a reputation for creative genius and daring innovation in his productions, allowing him to capture both the mature smooth jazz fans as well as the younger urban-contemporary audience.
Could Johnson be the Berry Gordy of smooth jazz? After all, he is the founder of a recording industry powerhouse that grooms and develops raw talent and is consistently creating the new classics. Only time will tell. But, when asked to reflect on this comparison, Johnson humbly maintains, âI'm just doing what I do.â
Marcus Johnsonâs new album, The Phoenix, will be released in February of 2007 For more information of Marcus and his music, visit www.threekeys.com/mj or contact Three Keys Music at (301) 589-1800.
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