At its March 18, 2009 meeting, the Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. Board of Directors elected Marcus Johnson of Silver Spring, Maryland as a member of the Board.
Born in Ohio, Marcus Johnson was raised in Washington, D.C. and grew up sampling a cornucopia of musical styles. He began studying both contemporary and traditional jazz and cites Thelonius Monk and Joe Sample as early influences through high school and his undergraduate studies at Howard University. While pursuing both a JD and MBA at Georgetown University, Johnson decided to independently produce and distribute his own album. The product, Lessons in Love (1997), went on to sell 40,000 units, a phenomenal success for an unknown artist’s debut release. It also helped him launch his career as a jazz musician and chief executive of Marimelj Entertainment Group LLC (MEG). During the next decade, Johnson would release more critically-acclaimed music: Inter Alia, Chocolate City Groovin’, Coming Back Around, Urban Groove, In Person: Live@ Blues Alley; Just Doing What I Do, Smooth Jazz Christmas, and In Concert For a Cause.
He’s shared the stage with many musical legends including Boney James, Kim Waters, Peabo Bryson, Diana Krall, Eryka Badu, Peter White, Miles Jaye, Rick Braun, Norman Brown, Chaka Khan, Arturo Sandoval, Chuck Magione, Marion Meadows, Rachelle Ferrell, Mike Phillips, George Duke and Jeffrey Osborne among others.
And he’s played at many of the world’s famous festivals and venues including The Capital Jazz Fest, Bermuda Jazz Fest, Atlantic Artscape, Huntington Beach Jazz Fest, The National Smooth Jazz Awards and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Noting Johnson’s business savvy and musical ambition, Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder and businessman Robert L. Johnson (no relation) invested in MEG and became Marcus’ business partner. Under this partnership, MEG’s label Three Keys Music – based in the Washington, D.C. metro area – established its own full-service recording studio, Studio 8121; and two music publishing companies, Marimelj Music Publishing and Three Keys Music Publishing.
The other members of the Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. Board of Directors are Don Berkemeyer, Jr., Alan Bowser, Sheryl Brissett-Chapman, Estefany Carrillo, David Fogel, Bryant Foulger, Jack Hewitt, Graciela Jaschek, Mark Kozaki, Jon Lourie, Aurelia Martin, Jennifer Nettles, Jane Redicker, Laura Steinberg, Wanda Whiteside, Beth A. Wong and Mary Ann Zimmerman.