Two Masters: David Sanborn, Marcus Miller

The 27th annual Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest as presented by Berks Arts Council March 31-April 9 has just received one supernova boost of star power – this in a festival already populated with a who’s who list of distinguished artists.

The iconic David Sanborn, the king of saxophone for decades, will be a special guest with bass legend Marcus Miller – the two have a long history of playing together – on Saturday, April 8, at 10 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading.

Two jazz masters. One great show.

Sanborn has released 24 albums, won six Grammy Awards, and has had eight Gold albums and one Platinum album. Having inspired countless other musicians, Sanborn has worked in many genres that typically blend instrumental pop, R&B and lately, more and more traditional jazz.

As a member of the Butterfield Blues Band, he played Woodstock with Paul Butterfield. Following that, Sanborn toured with Stevie Wonder and recorded for Wonder’s Talking Book album, played with The Rolling Stones, and toured with David Bowie with whom he recorded the famous solo heard on “Young Americans.”

At the same time, Sanborn was touring and recording with the great Gil Evans, dividing his time between the two. After moving to New York City and studying with George Coleman, Sanborn started his solo career where he later collaborated with such artists as Paul Simon and James Taylor.

He also has performed with James Brown, Bryan Ferry and Elton John among many others. Sanborn’s solo album release of Taking Off in 1975 –still considered a classic — further solidified his career.

His 1979 album release of Hideaway became a popular hit and further propelled Sanborn’s ascent with the single “Seduction” being featured in the movie American Gigolo.

Marcus Miller joined Sanborn on the 1981 album Voyeur. The single “All I Need Is You” won Sanborn his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance. In 1983, Sanborn released the hit album Backstreet that included Luther Vandross as a featured guest vocalist. Later albums have included guest artists such as Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, Charlie Hayden, Wallace Roney, Kenny Barron, Christian McBride and Eric Clapton.

The acclaimed Renaissance Man, Marcus Miller, has enjoyed one of the most enviable careers in music. He is a multiple Grammy winner and the composer/producer of 11 critically acclaimed and genre-defying albums.

As a multi-instrumentalist, Miller is highly proficient as a keyboardist, clarinetist/bass clarinetist and, primarily, as a world-renowned electric bassist, topping critics’ and readers’ polls for three decades.

Not only has Miller pioneered the continuing development of a technique known as “slapping”, but his fretless bass technique also has served as an inspiration to many, and has taken the fretless bass into musical situations and genres previously unexplored with the electric bass of any description.

His resume as an A-list player brims with over 500 recording credits as a sideman on albums across the spectrum of musical styles.

Besides Sanborn, Miller has worked with such luminaries as trumpeter Miles Davis, pianist Herbie Hancock and Vandross.

Now Sanborn and Miller will be lighting up the same Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest stage with megawatt star power.