Though use of bass clarinet in jazz typically leans heavily towards avant-garde and free-jazz styles, Marcus’ straight-ahead playing has carved out a unique voice for the instrument in modern jazz. His music swings hard with both a fiery and introspective intensity but also maintains a strong lyrical sensibility.

Based in Baltimore, MD, Marcus actively leads small ensembles such as the Todd Marcus Quintet, Quartet, Trio, and Duo as well as his nine piece band The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra on original compositions and jazz standards.

Self taught in jazz theory and composition, Marcus’ compositions draw largely on straight-ahead jazz and classical influences but over recent years have increasingly explored Middle-Eastern sounds from his Egyptian-American heritage. His work includes international performances, clinics, and radio play and he has worked with other artists such as Gary Bartz, Bennie Maupin, Don Byron, Larry Willis, Ralph Peterson, Gary Thomas, Odean Pope, Tim Warfield, Xavier Davis, George Colligan, Orrin Evans, Joel Frahm, Sean Jones, and Mike Formanek.

Marcus’ performances include national and international touring. He was a featured guest in 2005 at the World Bass Clarinet Convention in Rotterdam, Holland and more recently in Egypt at the 2015 Cairo Jazz Festival.

Marcus balances his music career by running Intersection of Change – a nonprofit addressing poverty related issues in his Baltimore neighborhood. The organization runs an art program providing children and adults with alternatives to drugs and violence, a recovery program for women overcoming drug addiction and homelessness, and has achieved significant community revitalization by renovating abandoned buildings and vacant lots.

For full bio – CLICK HERE

Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra

A nonet of six horns (bass clarinet, alto saxophone/flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, trombone), piano, bass, drums and optional vocalist with musicians from Baltimore, New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Tennessee. The group’s instrumentation, compositions, and arrangements create a rich sound with music that incorporates straight-ahead jazz with other influences from classical to Middle-Eastern themes. The music explores a range of moods while swinging hard and showcasing the diverse soloists in the ensemble.

Todd Marcus Quartet & Quintet
Traditional quartet and quintet ensembles with piano, bass, and drums but featuring Marcus’s rare use of bass clarinet as a lead horn in straight-ahead jazz.  The ensembles present Marcus’s original compositions and arrangements of jazz standards and the quintet features a second front line instrument of clarinet, guitar, or vibraphone.  The groups feature demonstrate Marcus’ rich harmonic approach and ability to present the bass clarinet as a hard blowing jazz horn equal to saxophone and trumpet as a front line solo instrument.

Todd Marcus Trio & Duo
Marcus’s smaller groups offer his Trio with bass clarinet, bass, and drums or Duo with bass clarinet and piano.  Both incorporate a mix of original compositions with arrangements of jazz standards and showcase Marcus’s rich harmonic approach and ability to present the bass clarinet both with hard blowing intensity and softer textural sensitivity.

Blues for Tahrir (2015) Hipnotic Records
The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra
Marcus’ nonet featuring original compositions with Middle Eastern influenes with Marcus (bass clarinet), Greg Tardy (tenor sax), Brent Birckhead (alto sax & flute), Russell Kirk (alt), Alex Norris (trumpet), Alan Ferber (trombone), Xavier Davis (piano), Jeff Reed (bass), Eric Kennedy (drums), Jon Seligman (percussion), and Irene Jalenti (vocals).

Inheritance (2012) Hipnotic Records
Two distinct quartets led by Todd Marcus on bass clarinet & clarinet with Xavier Davis (piano), Eric Kennedy (drums), Eric Wheeler (bass), & special guest Don Byron (clarinet) plus a second quartet with George Colligan (piano), Warren Wolf (drums), and Eric Wheeler (bass).

In Pursuit of the 9th Man (2006) hip_jazz_logotiny
Marcus’ nonet on original compositions and arrangements with Marcus (bass clarinet), Lyle Link (alto sax & flute), Russell Kirk (tenor sax), Issa Lambson (alto sax), Theljon Allen (trumpet), Reginald Cyntje (trombone), Joel Holmes (piano), Jeff Reed(bass), Mike Kuhl (drums) and guests Raul Soot (tenor sax) and Lee Pearson (drums).

Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra
Todd Marcus Quartet & Quintet
Todd Marcus Trio
Television Features

Upcoming Shows

10 Mar 2017 Todd Marcus Quintet Baltimore, MD Theatre Project Theatre Project Buy ticket - $25
11 Mar 2017 Todd Marcus Quartet Baltimore, MD Theatre Project Theatre Project Buy ticket - $25
12 Mar 2017 Todd Marcus Trio Baltimore, MD Theatre Project Theatre Project Buy ticket - $25
17 Mar 2017 Todd Marcus Quartet Cairo, Egypt American University in Cairo, Ewart Hall American University in Cairo, Ewart Hall
18 Mar 2017 Todd Marcus Quartet Alexandria, Egypt Bibliotheca Alexandria Bibliotheca Alexandria
23 Mar 2017 with Yacine Boulares Baltimore, MD An Die Musik An Die Musik
29 Mar 2017 with the Eliot Seppa Quintet Washington, DC Alice's Jazz & Cultural Center Alice's Jazz & Cultural Center
31 Mar 2017 Todd Marcus Quintet Laurel, MD Montpelier Arts Center Montpelier Arts Center Buy ticket
20 Apr 2017 Todd Marcus Quartet Washington, DC The Atlas Theater The Atlas Theater
17 Jun 2017 Todd Marcus Quartet Annapolis, MD St. Margaret's Episcopal Church St. Margaret's Episcopal Church
Todd Marcus hosts a jam session most Wednesdays 8-11pm in Baltimore at Homeslyce, 336 N. Charles Street, 443.501.4000

Past Shows

25 Feb 2017 Todd Marcus Quintet Rock Hall, MD The Mainstay The Mainstay
24 Feb 2017 Todd Marcus Duo Denton, MD Caroline Libary Caroline Libary
17 Feb 2017 Todd Marcus Quintet Washington, DC Westminster Church Westminster Church
15 Feb 2017 with the Greenwich House Music School ensemble New York, NY Greenwich House Music School Greenwich House Music School
01 Feb 2017 with Nathan Hook Washington, DC, DC Twins Twins
03 Jan 2017 with the Unified Jazz Ensemble Annapolis, MD 49 West 49 West
09 Dec 2016 Todd Marcus Quintet Baltimore, MD Single Carrot Theatre Single Carrot Theatre
26 Nov 2016 with Gary Bartz Baltimore, MD An Die Musik An Die Musik
13 Oct 2016 Todd Marcus Quintet Baltimore, MD Baltimore Museum of Art Baltimore Museum of Art
15 Sep 2016 with the Tedd Baker Ensemble Washington, DC Smithsonian American Art Museum Smithsonian American Art Museum

For list of selected past dates CLICK HERE


Chamber Music America awards New Jazz Works commission to Todd Marcus: Jazz Times announcement
The Jazz Journalists Association selects Marcus as a 2016 recipient of its Jazz Heroes awards: JJA 2016 Awards
Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra new CD Blues for Tahrir named a top 40 album of the year: Jazz Times Magazine
Maryland Public Television (MPT) focuses an episode of its program Artworks on Marcus’ music work: Artworks on MPT
More on Todd Marcus at youtube-small-icon and facebook-icon


WYPR Baltimore features segment on Todd Marcus’ music and community work: WYPR
WCVE Richmond presents feature on Todd Marcus Quintet: WCVE
The Jazz Journalists Association selects Marcus as a 2016 recipient of its Jazz Heroes awards: Jazz Journalists Association
Cairo Jazz Festival full length feature on work of Todd Marcus by Nile TV in Cairo, Egypt: Nile TV
Maryland Public Television (MPT) focuses an episode of its program Artworks on Marcus’ music work: Artworks on MPT
Journalist Shaun Brady writes about Marcus’ work and exploration of Middle Eastern influences: The Key
Maryland Public Television (MPT) interview about Marcus receiving Baker Artist Award: Maryland Public Television (MPT)
JazzTimes highlights in article “The Bass Clarinet in Jazz: The Low End Theory”: JazzTimes
Radio interview on WYPR with Todd Marcus about his 10 year anniversary as a performer: WYPR
Journalist Geoffrey Himes citing Marcus as key innovator for bass clarinet in jazz: City Paper
Journalist Giovanni Russonello on Marcus’ quartet ablum Inheritance: Capital Bop
Journalist Willard Jenkins’ interview with on Marcus’ music and background: Open Sky Jazz
Video interview about Marcus’ approach to his Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra: CapitalBop
Journalist Aaron Henkin’s feature about Marcus’ community work and music: The Signal (WYPR)
Video interview of Marcus about his work with Orrin Evans Captain Black Big Band: Philly Jazz
Journalist Geoffrey Himes covers Marcus’ role as a musician and community activist: City Paper
Marcus gives an overview of his work: YouTube interview

Blues for Tahrir  selected as one of the top 40 albums of 2015
JazzTimes, January 2016

“This is music that is smart, heartfelt and alive with ardent conviction.”
The New York City Jazz Record, January 2016

Voted a Rising Star in 63rd Annual Critics Poll for “clarinet” and “miscellaneous instrument” categories.
DownBeat, August 2015

“Marcus…is clearly what the jazz polls call a “rising star” – as a composer-arranger and as a bass clarinetist. His solos are highlights of this album. In Marcus’ hands, the bass clarinet is no longer a specialty instrument. Its unique timbral richness becomes incisive, fully capable of forceful expression.”
JazzTimes, August 2015

“[Blues For Tahrir] is an exciting album that is both emotive, musical and thought provoking.”
Jazz Weekly, Juy 2015

Todd Marcus is not only one of the great individualists in jazz, he’s also a great composer…But it transcends genre: it’s Middle Eastern, and it’s cinematic, and it has a mighty angst-fueled majesty that under ideal circumstances also ought to reach the rock audience that gravitates toward artsy bands like Radiohead or Pink Floyd. There’ve been some amazing big band jazz albums issued in the past few years, but none as good as this since Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society released their withering anti-gentrification broadside Brooklyn Babylon in 2012. As happened with that album, time may judge Blues for Tahrir to be a classic.”
New York Music Daily, May 2015

“Listeners won’t have any trouble recognizing Marcus’s compelling gifts for composing and arranging.”
The Washington Post, May 2015

“…an endlessly fascinating voice from Baltimore who’s captured national attention on the jazz scene…”
 Michael J. West, DC City Paper, September 2014

Voted a Rising Star in 62nd Annual Critics Poll for “clarinet” and “miscellaneous instrument” categories.—DownBeat, July 2014

“Baltimore-based Todd Marcus, the virtuoso bass clarinetist and composer, is a master of straight-ahead jazz.”
Baltimore Sun, January 2014

To book The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra, Quintet, Quartet, Trio, or Duo CLICK HERE for details and the ensembles’ booking sheet then contact:

Linda Richardson
410.963.4253 phone

Kim Smith
public relations
718 858 2557 (w)
917 349 8090 (c)

Educational projects
In addition to feature performances, the Todd Marcus ensembles are all also available for clinics, workshops, and masterclasses. These education programs can be tailored for children or adults and both musicians and non-musicians alike. These sessions are designed to expose participants to jazz and cultivate understanding and appreciation for the music. Todd Marcus education projects can be offered as one-time sessions or as a series of sequential events or residencies. Common topics featured include how to listen to jazz, coaching on ensemble and solo performing and improvisation, incorporation of different styles of music, and discussion of how to pursue a career as a professional musician. For samples CLICK HERE.