The Kennedy Center

Todd Marcus



Biography

The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra is a nine-piece ensemble of six horns, piano, bass, and drums led by Baltimore bass clarinetist and composer Todd Marcus, one of the few jazz artists worldwide to focus exclusively on use of the bass clarinet as a primary soloing instrument.

Marcus’ playing presents the instrument with a modern straight-ahead jazz approach - a departure from typical use of the instrument in avant-garde and free-jazz styles. His music swings hard with both fiery and introspective intensity but also maintains a strong lyrical sensibility.

Started in 2003 in Baltimore, The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra currently includes musicians from Baltimore, NY, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. In 2005 the ensemble recorded the debut album, In Pursuit of the 9th Man, and has featured guests artists including tenor saxophonists Bennie Maupin, Tim Warfield, Gary Thomas, Joel Frahm, and Ralph Bowen, trumpeter Sean Jones, and pianist Orrin Evans.

Self taught in jazz theory and composition, Marcus’ compositions for the ensemble build on straight-ahead jazz with thematic development. Recent compositions have increasingly presented works by Marcus that feature influences of Middle Eastern music reflecting Marcus' Egyptian-American heritage.
Todd Marcus