Bass clarinetist/composer Todd Marcus
is one of the few jazz artists worldwide to focus their work primarily on the bass clarinet.
Marcus’ straight-ahead playing has carved out a unique voice for the instrument in modern jazz. His music swings hard with both a fiery and introspective intensity but also maintains a strong lyrical sensibility. and the New York Times writes, “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.”
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. He has worked with other jazz artists such as Gary Bartz, Bennie Maupin, Don Byron, Larry Willis, Odean Pope, Gary Thomas, Joel Frahm, Tim Warfield, Ralph Peterson, Warren Wolf, Sean Jones, Xavier Davis, George Colligan, and Orrin Evans.
Marcus balances his music career by running Intersection of Change
, a nonprofit addressing poverty related issues in his Baltimore neighborhood. The organization runs a community arts program for children & adults, a recovery program for women overcoming drug addiction, an urban farm, and has achieved significant community revitalization by renovating abandoned building and vacant lots.