First Congregation United Church of Christ
276 Haworth Avenue
Haworth, NJ 07641
Todd Marcus – bass clarinet
Troy Roberts – tenor sax
Russell Kirk – alto sax
Brent Birckhead – flute & alto sax
Alex Norris – trumpet
Alan Ferber - trombone
Xavier Davis – piano
Jeff Reed - bass
Eric Kennedy – drums
The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra returns to the First Congregation Church of Christ as part of their east coast tour to premier new music composed by Marcus through a prestigious Chamber Music America commission.
The new work showcases Marcus's incorporation of Middle-Eastern classical music into jazz and reflects Marcus’s embrace of his Egyptian heritage and multiple trips to Cairo since 2015. Similar efforts resulted in his album Blues for Tahrir that portrayed Egypt’s 2011 revolution. The band will also perform this material as well which was named one of the top 40 national jazz albums of 2015 by JazzTimes magazine.
The music features Marcus’ arrangements of original compositions which offer unique new directions in jazz. “I’ve been interested in incorporating Middle Eastern musical influences, as a way to pull something unique from my culture and fuse it with my music.” Marcus explains. “It’s been challenging because jazz and Middle-Eastern music are so different. While jazz uses a lot of rich harmony, Middle-Eastern music tends to be a lot of unison playing or over drones and if you try to add chords, it diminishes the Middle-Eastern feel of the music. So it’s taken a lot of experimenting to find ways to make this fusion of the two musics work.”
In The Valley by Todd Marcus and the Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America's 2016 New Jazz Works program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
More at: www.toddmarcusjazz.com