Contemporary Arts Inc. presents
The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra
featuring pianist Xavier Davis
Xavier Davis (piano)
Todd Marcus (bass clarinet/composer)
Paul Carr (tenor sax)
Russell Kirk (alto sax & flute)
Issa Lambson (alto sax)
Alex Norris (trumpet)
Darent Polk (trombone)
Jeff Reed (bass)
Kush Abadey (drums)
Tickets $15/$12 seniors & students
Bass clarinetist and composer Todd Marcus is one of the few jazz artists worldwide to focus exclusively on use of the bass clarinet as a primary soloing instrument. Jazz Times contributing journalist David Adler writes, "With his melodic imagination and technical aptitude on an unorthodox horn, Marcus has something truly new and personal to offer."
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. His work includes international performances, clinics, and radio play and he has worked with other jazz artists such as Larry Willis, Don Byron, Odean Pope, Tim Warfield, Sean Jones, Orrin Evans, Joel Frahm, Xavier Davis, Mike Formanek, and Gary Thomas. Marcus was also a featured guest at the 1st World Bass Clarinet Convention in Rotterdam, Holland where his work was recognized for both his compositions and unique solo voice.
Pianist Xavier Davis has peformed and/or recorded with many of today's great jazz musicians. He started his professional career by working with the legendary vocalist Betty Carter for nearly two years and has since worked and/or recorded Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Fortune, Abbey Lincoln, Joe Lovano, Donald Byrd, Tom Harrell, Regina Carter, Stefon Harris, Bob Berg, Joe Chambers, Gary Bartz, John Faddis, Nat Adderley, Nicholas Payton, Wessell Anderson, Vincent Herring, Antonio Hart, Don Braden, The New Jazz Composer's Octet, Ron Blake, Vanessa Rubin, Nnenna Freelon, Steve Turre, Russell Malone, The New York Voices, Billy Hart, Manhattan Projects and Diahann Carroll, among others.
Davis has served as the musical director of the Boy's Choir of Harlem and also played keyboard for the television series "Cosby." When he is not touring, he is writing music for national television commercials as well as an upcoming PBS documentary.
“The bass clarinetist’s original tunes and the top-notch, lively musicians in the orchestra
deliver one of the most satisfying big-band sounds in the region.”
--- Baltimore City Paper, January 5, 2011
“Marcus has deftly helmed [a] nine-piece orchestra, which features some of the region’s more notable players.”
--- Baltimore Sun, October 20, 2011
“…masterfully performed solos…If you need to get your blood pumping, this [music] will fit the bill.”
--- Examiner.com, November 26, 2010
“One of the area’s finest jazz musicians.”
--- The Baltimore Times, September 2008
This performance is part of a jazz residency project in partnership with the Baltimore nonprofit
Contemporary Arts Inc. that is providing jazz clinics and concerts in Maryland. The performance
is made possible by Chamber Music America with generous funding by the Doris Duke Foundation,
Contemporary Arts Inc, and The Maryland State Arts Council.