Mon Nov 11

Todd Marcus Quintet featuring Don Byron

Mon, November 11
7PM / $30 | $7 Fees
Get Tickets
Blues Alley

1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20007

Todd Marcus

Baltimore bass clarinetist Todd Marcus and New York clarinetist Don Byron present a lush ensemble that showcases the beauty and power of the clarinet in a modern jazz and often incorporates Middle Eastern influences of Marcus’s Egyptian heritage. While the clarinet once held a key role in early New Orleans jazz, it later fell out of favor to the saxophone as jazz progressed with bebop and louder, faster styles. The work of Marcus and Byron responds by presenting two generations of artists showcasing the instrument’s potential and expressiveness today. The two artists were featured on Marcus’ 2012 album Inheritance, named one of the top 10 Jazz albums of 2012 by NPR, and have performed and toured together since 2016. Byron, a prolific composer and performer as a Guggenheim Fellowship, Doris Duke Performing Artist Award winner, and a former “Jazz Artist of the Year” by jazz’s Down Beat magazine, “sees some of himself” in the upcoming Marcus who the New York Times writes, “is probably the most inventive bass clarinetist working in straight-ahead jazz today.”

Todd Marcus
Todd Marcus is one of the few artists worldwide to focus on the bass clarinet as a main instrument in modern jazz with his small and large ensembles. His straight-ahead playing and compositions swing with fiery intensity balanced with delicate introspection.  Self-taught in jazz, his music offers a strong melodic sensibility, draws from elements of his community work, and often incorporates the Middle Eastern influences of his Egyptian-American heritage. Based in Baltimore, Marcus leads ensembles from 2-10 musicians featuring his original compositions and jazz standards 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.” Marcus has worked with other jazz artists such as Gary Bartz, Bennie Maupin, Don Byron, Ralph Peterson, Warren Wolf, Sean Jones, and Orrin Evans. His performances include national and international touring including the 2023 International Clarinet Association Summit, 2017 Jazz Tales Festival in Egypt, 2015 Cairo Jazz Festival in Egypt, and in 2005 at the 1st World Bass Clarinet Convention in Rotterdam, Holland. Todd is an endorsed artist for Syos mouthpieces and RZ Clarinets

Don Byron
Bronx, New York-born Don Byron is a singular voice in an astounding range of musical contexts, exploring widely divergent traditions while continually striving for what he calls "a sound above genre." As clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, arranger, and social critic, he redefines every genre of music he plays, be it classical, salsa, hip-hop, funk, klezmer, rhythm & blues, or any jazz style from swing and bop to cutting-edge downtown improvisation.

Since the early 1990s, he has been consistently voted best clarinetist by critics and readers alike in leading international music journals, and is acclaimed as much for his restless creativity as for his unsurpassed virtuosity as a player. Byron has presented a multitude of projects at major music festivals around the world, most recently in Vienna, San Francisco, Hong Kong, London, New Zealand, and New York, including a run on Broadway.

His discography comprises a dozen albums for mostly Blue Note and Nonesuch Records. Ivey-Divey, his Lester Young/Nat King Cole/Buddy Rich Trio-inspired recording, was voted Record of the Year 2004 by Jazz Times Magazine and nominated for a Grammy Award.

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Mon, November 11

7PM / $30 | $7 Fees
Get Tickets

*Please note:
1. Final sale, no refunds, not transferable.
2. $15 food/beverage minimum per person not included in ticket price.
3. Seating first come at the door. Doors open 6 PM & 8:45 PM respectively.
4. Photography or Recording of any kind is prohibited during the performance.
5. Keep conversation to a minimum during the performance.

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