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Marcus Roberts Trio

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts
continues its  2016-17 Jazz series with the

Marcus Roberts Trio

featuring
Marcus Roberts, piano
Rodney Jordan, bass
Jason Marsalis, drums
 
Saturday, February 4, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street)
Tickets: $20-$35 • Students with valid ID: $7-$21
 


From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey:
“Marcus Roberts is nothing short of a legend in the jazz world. He and his trio have been breaking musical ground for nearly 20 years, and each outing is packed with rich and soulful music. We’re thrilled to welcome the ensemble for their debut on the Miller Jazz series.”


Jazz
Saturday, February 4, 2017, 8:00 p.m.
Marcus Roberts Trio
Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street)
 
“We call him ‘the genius of modern piano’ because he is,” says Wynton Marsalis of jazz legend Marcus Roberts. The long-running Marcus Roberts Trio makes its Miller debut, shining a light on their unique and virtuosic style. Each member of the Trio shares equally in leading and changing, displaying their innate connection to the music and each other.

ARTISTS:
Marcus Roberts, piano
Rodney Jordan, bass
Jason Marsalis, drums


About the Artists:

Marcus Roberts, piano
In 2014, Marcus Roberts was honored to have his life and work featured on a segment of the celebrated CBS News television show 60 Minutes. The show, entitled “The Virtuoso,” traced Roberts’ life from his early roots in Jacksonville and at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind to his remarkable career as a modern jazz musician. Roberts is perhaps best known for the development of an entirely new approach to jazz trio performance.

Roberts toured with Wynton Marsalis starting at age 21 for six years, when he left to tour and record with his own band. He premiered his groundbreaking arrangement of Gershwin’s Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra with the New Japan Philharmonic and then recorded it with the Berlin Philharmonic (DVD: A Gershwin Night, EuroArts 2003). Roberts’ release of New Orleans Meets Harlem, Volume 1 in 2009 was the first on his new label, J-Master Records. Since then, he has released a very popular holiday recording, Celebrating Christmas, a nonet recording of an original suite, Deep in the Shed: A Blues Suite (Nov 2012), a collaborative CD of the Marcus Roberts Trio with Béla Fleck called Across the Imaginary Divide (Rounder Records), and in 2013, three critically acclaimed CDs—From Rags to Rhythm, Together Again: Live in Concert, and Together Again: In the Studio. In 2014, Roberts released another suite of all-original music, called Romance, Swing, and the Blues.

Roberts is an accomplished composer who has received numerous commissioning awards, including ones from Jazz at Lincoln Center, Chamber Music America, and ASCAP among others. Most recently, he was commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Savannah Music Festival to write his first piano concerto—Spirit of the Blues: Piano Concerto in C-Minor.

All of this hard work and experience came together in 2012 with the founding of a completely new band—The Modern Jazz Generation, who released their first CD in October of 2014. This multigenerational band was founded on the principles of mentoring in jazz and has 12 accomplished musicians, ranging in age from their early 20s to their 50s. 

Rodney Jordan, bass
Rodney Jordan is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. During his college years, Jordan joined the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra where he served as Assistant Principal Bassist. After graduating, he became Chair of the String Department at the Dougherty County Public School and served as Principal Bassist with the Albany Symphony Orchestra in Albany, GA. While living in Atlanta, Jordan became one of the city’s most active jazz bassists, performing and recording with some of America’s finest jazz musicians, including Marcus Printup, Mulgrew Miller, James Williams, Milt Jackson, George Coleman, and Russell Gunn.

It was at Florida State University that Jordan and Marcus Roberts first met and played together. From the beginning, the two had a very close musical bond, playing and teaching together on many occasions. Jordan joined the Marcus Roberts Trio in 2009. Rodney Jordan is one of the most versatile jazz bassists on the scene today. Jordan’s knowledge of harmony from his classical bass training combined with the relentless feeling of swing in his playing is a perfect fit for the powerful melodic, blues-based, syncopated improvisational sound of the Marcus Roberts Trio.

Jason Marsalis, drums
Jason Marsalis is the son of pianist and music educator Ellis Marsalis and his wife Dolores, and the youngest sibling of Wynton, Branford and Delfeayo. In 1991, he auditioned and was accepted to the acclaimed New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts High School (NOCCA). Throughout his high school years he played gigs with his father and brothers, as well as studying orchestral percussion techniques at the venerable Eastern Music Festival. Shortly after graduation from NOCCA in 1995, Marsalis became the drummer for the Marcus Roberts Trio. In 1998, he co-founded the Latin-jazz group Los Hombres Calientes. While recording two albums with the group, Marsalis also produced two albums under his own name, Year of the Drummer (1998) and Music in Motion (2000), as well as producing reissues and current recordings of his father on their self-owned label, ELM Records.

He started working on the traditional jazz scene with musicians such as Lars Edegran and Tommy Sancton at Preservation Hall and Palm Court Jazz Cafe. It was in April of 2008 that Marsalis was asked to play the vibraphone with the legendary Lionel Hampton Orchestra at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans. In fall of that year, he was on a double-bill tour with Double-wide and a jazz-fusion group from Denton, Texas, Snarky Puppy. In 2009, the Marsalis Family would receive the NEA Jazz Masters award. In June of that year, the family would appear at the White House and the Kennedy Center to do a tribute show to their father. In 2013, Marsalis released his recording as a leader on vibes entitled In a World of Mallets.

NOTE: The Marcus Roberts Trio replaces the previously scheduled Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet for this date. Ticket holders for the original Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet performance can contact the Miller Theatre box office for more information: 212-854-7799.