Sat, Feb 12|
Takoma Station Tavern
Todd Marcus Quartet
ALL TICKET SALES ARE FINAL...$15 Advanced / $20 Day of event
Time & Location
Feb 12, 2022, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Takoma Station Tavern, 6914 4th St NW, Washington, DC 20012, USA
About the Event
Doors open: 6:30pm
Show starts: 7:00pm
$15 in advance, $20 day of show
Masks and proof of vaccination required
Todd Marcus - bass clarinet, clarinet
Chris Ziemba - piano
Blake Meister - bass
Byung Kang - drums
“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
A Baltimore-based jazz musician and community activist, Todd Marcus is an engaging bass clarinetist whose lyrical style touches upon acoustic post-bop and classical sounds, as well as traditional music from his Egyptian-American heritage. Influenced by icons like Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, as well as contemporary artists like Don Byron, Marcus initially gained attention in the late '90s, playing on the East Coast and in Baltimore. Along with jazz, he is also a dedicated community activist, having helped run the non-profit, anti-poverty organization Intersection of Change for over 15 years. He has issued a handful of albums showcasing his work with both large and small groups including 2006's "In Pursuit of the 9th Man" with his big band, 2016's quartet date "Inheritance," and 2018's quintet album "On these Streets (A Baltimore Story)."
Born in New Jersey to an American mother and Egyptian-born father, Marcus started out with piano lessons at age six and picked up the clarinet at age ten, playing in the school band. It was while in high school that his English teacher, a traditional New Orleans-style jazz pianist, introduced him to jazz. It was a skill he further pursued while studying political science at Loyola University. There, he began teaching himself improvisation by playing along to albums by artists like Oscar Peterson, Stan Getz, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. He also spent hours at the piano studying chord forms and song progressions.
Along with his burgeoning jazz skills, he also began volunteering at Habitat for Humanity in west Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester community. There he befriended pastor Rev. C.W. Harris, who became a life-long mentor to Marcus. Through his work with Harris, Marcus developed a passion for Baltimore's rich African-American culture, and legacy of arts, music, and social activism. He left school in 1997, balancing his community service work in Baltimore and his ongoing jazz studies.
Around the same time, he made the switch from clarinet to bass clarinet, a choice he made after discovering Eric Dolphy's recordings on the instrument. The following year, he returned to New Jersey where he completed his degree in urban studies at Rutgers University. While at Rutgers he gained acceptance into the music department's jazz combos program and further developed his abilities playing and composing for various ensembles.
Since 1999, Marcus has based himself in Baltimore, leading his own jazz groups and continuing his community work with Rev. Harris. Together, they have helmed the non-profit organization Intersection of Change, whose goal is to address issues of poverty, homelessness, and substance abuse in the community. They've also assisted with other affiliated programs including Jubilee Arts and the Strength to Love II urban garden.
Along with his various community projects, Marcus has continued to excel at music. He performs regularly in Baltimore and all over the East Coast and has made appearances at Egypt's Jazz Tales Festival and Cairo Jazz Festival, and the World Bass Clarinet Convention in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He has also worked with such luminaries as Gary Bartz. Bennie Maupin, Larry Willis, Odean Pop, Gary Thomas, Tim Warfield, Xavier Davis, George Colligan and Orrin Evans, among others. As a leader, he made his debut with 2006's "In Pursuit of the 9the Man," which showcased his Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra. He returned with the quartet date "Inheritance" in 2012. The following year, he was selected as a rising star in Downbeat Magazine's critics' poll, and in 2014, he was awarded Maryland's Baker Prize.
A second orchestra session, "Blues for Tahrir," arrived in 2015 and found him drawing inspiration from the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East. Also in 2015, Marcus' attention was drawn back to Baltimore with the widely publicized death of Freddie Gray. He ruminated on the tragedy, as well as other challenges faced by the community on his 2018 quintet album "On These Streets (A Baltimore Love Story)." Around the same time, he was bestowed with a Jazz Hero Award from the Jazz Journalists Association. In 2019, he issued "Trio+," which featured appearances by drummer Ralph Peterson and Trumpeter Sean Jones.
ALL TICKET SALES ARE FINAL...$15 Advanced / $20 on Day-Of$20.00