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Marcus Roberts

Marcus Roberts Trio / Jazz in Marciac / What Is This Thing Called Love


800px-Marcus_Roberts_2010Roberts performing at Festival de Jazz de Vitoria in 2010

Marcus Roberts (born August 7, 1963, in Jacksonville, Florida) is an American jazz pianist. He achieved success as a stride pianist who celebrates classic standards and jazz traditions. Roberts has also distinguished his solos by accompanying himself with walking basslines. Interpreting Thelonious Monk, he adds creative dissonances to Monk’s compositions.


Marcus Roberts Trio

Marcus Roberts Trio

Blind since youth due to glaucoma and cataracts, Roberts attended the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, Florida, alma mater of another distinguished musician, Ray Charles. Roberts began playing piano at an early age and then studied the instrument with pianist Leonidas Lipovetsky while attending Florida State University. In 1985, he got a break when famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis chose him as his new sideman. Roberts became a close friend and disciple of Marsalis, and collaborated with him on many projects during the ensuing years.

With Marsalis’ support, and soon after joining him, Roberts began releasing his own records. His albums tend to be homages to past jazz greats. On a piece such as Nebuchadnezzar, Roberts uses traditional harmonies and chords, then builds an expansive tonal and melodic structure. He is renowned as an interpreter of Monk, Ellington, Morton and Gershwin, among others. He provided the soundtrack to the 1999 film Guinevere.

Roberts serves as Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies in the music program at Florida State University. He is also a Steinway Artist.

Discography – As Leader

How Savannah can help make a healthier worldThe Truth Is Spoken Here (1988)
Deep in the Shed (1989)
Alone with Three Giants (1990)
Prayer for Peace (1991)
As Serenity Approaches (1991)
If I Could Be with You (1993)
Gershwin for Lovers (1994)
Portraits in Blue (1995)
Plays Ellington (1995)
Time and Circumstance (1996)
Blues for the New Millennium (1997)
The Joy of Joplin (1998)
In Honor of Duke (1999)
Cole after Midnight (2001)
A Gershwin Night (2003)
George Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F (2006)
New Orleans Meets Harlem, Volume 1 (2009)
Celebrating Christmas (2011)
Deep in the Shed: A Blues Suite (2012)
From Rags to Rhythm (2013)
Together Again: Live in Concert (2013)
Together Again: In the Studio (2013)

As Co-Leader

Marcus Roberts has A lot More To DoAcross the Imaginary Divide, with Bela Fleck, Rodney Jordan and Jason Marsalis (2012)
As sideman
With Mark Whitfield

The Marksman (Warner, 1990)
With Elvin Jones

Tribute to John Coltrane “A Love Supreme” (Columbia, 1992)
With Wynton Marsalis

J Mood (1985)
Standard Time, Vol. 1 (1986)
Live at Blues Alley (1987)
The Majesty of the Blues (1989)
Standard Time, Vol. 2: Intimacy Calling (1991)
Thick in the South: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 1 (1991)
Uptown Ruler: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 2 (1991)
Levee Low Moan: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 3 (1991)
Standards and Ballads (compilation, 2008)
The Music of America: Wynton Marsalis (2012)

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