“Mr. Marcus is probably the most inventive bass clarinetist working in straight-ahead jazz today…
[and] lives in Baltimore, where he is a guiding light on the city’s jazz scene who doubles as an activist and organizer.”
– The New York Times, August 2017

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.Marcus has annually been voted a Rising Star in Downbeat Magazine’s Annual Critics Poll since 2013 on “clarinet” and “miscellaneous instrument” categories and the Washington Post writes, “Listeners won’t have any trouble recognizing Marcus’s compelling gifts for composing and arranging.”  JazzTimes magazine adds, “In Marcus’ hands, the bass clarinet is no longer a specialty instrument. Its unique timbral richness becomes incisive, fully capable of forceful expression.”

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 also increasingly explored the Middle-Eastern sounds from his Egyptian-American heritage.  He has worked with other jazz artists such as Gary Bartz, Bennie Maupin, Don Byron, Larry Willis, Odean Pope, Gary Thomas, Joel Frahm, Tim Warfield, Ralph Peterson, Warren Wolf, Sean Jones, Xavier Davis, George Colligan, and Orrin Evans.

Marcus’ performances include national and international touring. He was a featured artist in 2017 Jazz Tales Festival in Egypt, 2015 Cairo Jazz Festival in Egypt, and in 2005 at the 1st World Bass Clarinet Convention in Rotterdam, Holland.

Marcus balances his music career by running Intersection of Change, a nonprofit addressing poverty related issues in his Baltimore neighborhood.  The organization runs a community arts program for children & adults, a recovery program for women overcoming drug addiction, an urban farm, and has achieved significant community revitalization by renovating abandoned building and vacant lots.

For full bio – CLICK HERE


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

“Marcus…is cleary what the jazz polls call a “rising star”…
In Marcus’ hands, the bass clarinet is no longer a specialty instrument.
Its unique timbral richness becomes incisive, fully capable of forceful expression.”

– Jazz Times

orchfinal
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.

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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

22 Oct 2017 with the Harry Appelman Duo Washington, DC Goethe-Institut Goethe-Institut Buy ticket
30 Oct 2017 Todd Marcus Quartet Baltimore, MD Baltimore Center Stage Baltimore Center Stage free
30 Nov 2017 Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra Baltimore, MD The Walters Art Museum The Walters Art Museum free
01 Dec 2017 Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra Washington, DC Goethe-Institut Goethe-Institut Buy ticket
02 Dec 2017 Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra Haworth, NJ Haworth Congregational United Church of Christ Haworth Congregational United Church of Christ Buy ticket
03 Dec 2017 Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra New York, NY Smalls Smalls
04 Dec 2017 Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra TBD TBD TBD
Todd Marcus hosts a jam session most Wednesdays 8-11pm in Baltimore at Homeslyce, 336 N. Charles Street, 443.501.4000

Past Shows

01 Oct 2017 Todd Marcus Duo Baltimore, MD Marie Louis Bistro Marie Louis Bistro
20 Sep 2017 with Trio X Baltimore, MD Bertha's Bertha's
15 Sep 2017 with the Jeff Reed Duo Baltimore, MD The Elk Room The Elk Room
13 Sep 2017 with the Jeff Reed Duo Baltimore, MD The Elk Room The Elk Room
21 Aug 2017 Todd Marcus Quintet recording Hampton, NJ Skyline Studios Skyline Studios
20 Aug 2017 Todd Marcus Quintet New York, NY ShapeShifter Lab ShapeShifter Lab
19 Aug 2017 Todd Marcus Quintet Falls Village, CT Music Mountain Festival Music Mountain Festival
18 Aug 2017 Todd Marcus Quintet Baltimore, MD Intersection of Change Intersection of Change
29 Jul 2017 Todd Marcus Quartet Oella, MD Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum
22 Jul 2017 Todd Marcus Quartet Baltimore, MD Beechfield Elementary School Beechfield Elementary School

NEWS

Todd Marcus Quintet performance selected as top pick by New York Times: NY Times
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

INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES

Feature story on Marcus’ music and community work: Baltimore City Paper
Todd Marcus in discussion with guitarist Dave Pedrick on the Working Musician podcast: Working Musician Podcast
Todd Marcus in discussion with saxophonist Nathan Hook on the JazzBros podcast: JazzBros Podcast
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

“Mr. Marcus is probably the most inventive bass clarinetist working in straight-ahead jazz today…[and] lives in Baltimore, where he is a guiding light on the city’s jazz scene who doubles as an activist and organizer.”
New York Times, August 2017

Voted a Rising Star in 64rd Annual Critics Poll for “clarinet” and “miscellaneous instrument” categories.
DownBeat, August 2017

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

“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, July 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

“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:

PERFORMANCES/CLINICS:
Patty Prasada-Rao
443.414.3877 phone
booking@toddmarcusjazz.com

FOR PRESS INQUIRIES CONTACT:
Matt Merewitz
Fully Altered Media
matt@fullyaltered.com
(o) 914.556.6368
(c) 215.629.6155

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.