The Todd Marcus Quintet – CD Release Performance
On These Streets
Baltimore-based jazz composer Todd Marcus is one of the most prominent, renowned bass clarinetists in the world. As one of only a few players who solely focus on the instrument, Marcus has carved out a unique sound world which thrusts his bass clarinet virtuosity into the realm of modern, straight ahead jazz. Yet music is only a part of what makes Marcus so special.
For the past 20 years, Marcus has lived in west Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester and Upton neighborhoods and worked at the community based nonprofit Intersection of Change alongside Reverend Elder C.W. and Amelia Harris. Together they have transformed the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Presstman Street by converting abandoned buildings and 18 vacant lots from an open air drug market to a place of hope and opportunity. Their Martha’s Place, Jubilee Arts, and Strength to Love II programs offer supportive recovery housing for women overcoming substance abuse and homelessness; arts classes and community beautification projects for children and adults; and employment to citizens returning from incarceration. This work—along with the creation of community green spaces, over two dozen prominent murals and an urban farm—have resulted in real, tangible, positive change in a community otherwise neglected and overlooked.
Marcus blends his musical and community worlds with a new quintet album, On These Streets. The album offers a musical portrait of his neighborhood where the death of community member Freddie Gray in April 2015 led to the city's subsequent civil unrest. Marcus's compositions seek to portray both the challenges and strengths of his community and find beauty in each.
Todd Marcus – Bass Clarinet
Warren Wolf – Vibraphone
Bruce Barth – Piano
Jeff Reed – Bass
Eric Kennedy – Drums and Vocals
“Mr. Marcus is probably the most inventive bass clarinetist working in straight-ahead jazz today.” –The New York Times
"Marcus...is clearly what the jazz polls call a "rising star"—as a composer-arranger and as a bass clarinetist. –JazzTimes
"Listeners won't have any trouble recognizing Marcus's compelling gifts for composing and arranging." –The Washington Post
More at toddmarcusjazz.com
Approximate runtime is 2 hours with a 20 minute intermission.