With clarinetist Todd Marcus, guitarist Paul Bollenback, pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Kris Funn, and drummer Eric Kennedy.
“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
Baltimore bass clarinetist, composer, and bandleader Todd Marcus is one of the few jazz artists worldwide to focus exclusively on the bass clarinet, and that commitment has paid off. Marcus’ straight-ahead playing has carved out a unique voice for the instrument in modern jazz, and his music swings hard with a fiery and introspective intensity while also maintaining a strong lyrical sensibility. Self-taught in jazz theory and composition, Marcus’ compositions draw largely on straight-ahead jazz and classical influences, but in recent years he has increasingly explored Middle Eastern sounds from his Egyptian-American heritage. Tonight’s performance will be the New York debut of material from Marcus’ new album, On These Streets (A Baltimore Story). Beyond being an extraordinary musician, Marcus is also a community activist and leader of the West Baltimore non-profit Intersection of Change, “dedicated to delivering hope to often mean, generally misunderstood streets.” Marcus’ new album offers a musical portrait of his neighborhood of more than 20 years, a neighborhood recently thrust into the national spotlight following the death of resident Freddie Gray. With this new record, Marcus seeks to portray both the challenges and strengths of his community, and he will utilize a cathartic and uplifting expression of jazz as a means to convey this complex but ultimately hopeful message.