MARCUS ROBERTS TRIO

FEBRUARY 5, 2023 AT 4:00PM free admission

Visual Artist: Debbie Pounders

ST. PAUL’S BY-THE-SEA EPISCOPAL CHURCH

 

THE ARTISTS

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

The Marcus Roberts Trio is a long-term musical partnership between pianist, Marcus Roberts, the phenomenal drummer Jason Marsalis, and gifted bassist Rodney Jordan. The Trio is known for its virtuosic style and entirely new approach to jazz trio performance. While most jazz trios have the piano front and center, all members of the Marcus Roberts Trio share equally in shaping the direction of the music by changing its tempo, mood, texture, or form at any time, and they do this with lightning quick musical reflexes and creative imagination. The Trio is known for having almost telepathic communication on the stage. More than a few concert goers have been heard to say that it sounds like a lot more than three people up there on the stage!

The Marcus Roberts Trio believes in ‘letting the music take over’ and the result is a powerfully rhythmic and melodic sound that is filled with rhythmic, harmonic, and dynamic contrast. One of the most enjoyable aspects of watching this trio perform is that it is so evident that these three musicians are really having fun playing together and listening to each other.

“One way Roberts individualizes his sound is by utilizing orchestral devices initially borrowed from the Ahmad Jamal Trio. In the course of a single piece, he constantly modulates grooves, tempos and keys, plays separate time signatures with the right hand and the left, and, as he puts it, “flips around the roles of the piano, bass and drums by giving everyone an equal opportunity to develop the concepts and themes, to change the form, to get us where we’re getting ready to go.” Ted Panken, Jazziz Magazine. Added to the logic and balanced trio style of Ahmad Jamal, is the swing and virtuosity of the Oscar Peterson Trio, combined with the buoyant joyous sound of Erroll Garner. These influences provide a rich foundation for the ever evolving and expanding sound of the Marcus Roberts Trio. The musical cues combine with musical inspiration from all over the world, which guarantees that audiences never know where this trio is heading; influences from Africa, Europe, and South America are combined with American traditions to give this group an infinite palate of styles, timbres and colors to draw from.

Marcus Roberts

Pianist/composer Marcus Roberts has been hailed “the genius of the modern piano”. In 2014, the celebrated CBS News television show, 60 Minutes, profiled his life and work on a segment entitled “The Virtuoso”.  The show traced Roberts’ life to date 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 grew up in Jacksonville, FL where his mother’s gospel singing and the music of the local church left a lasting impact on his own musical style. He began teaching himself to play piano at age five after losing his sight, but didn’t have his first formal lesson until age 12. Despite that late start, he progressed quickly through hard work and good teachers. At age 18, he went on to study classical piano at Florida State University with the great Leonidas Lipovetsky, whose own teacher was the celebrated Madame Rosina Lhévinne.

Roberts has won numerous awards and competitions over the years, but the one that is most personally meaningful to him is the Helen Keller Award for Personal Achievement. While Roberts is known for his remarkable ability to blend the jazz and classical idioms to create something wholly new, he may be even better known for his development of an entirely new approach to jazz trio performance.

Roberts’ critically-acclaimed legacy of recorded music reflects this tremendous artistic versatility. His recordings include solo piano, duets, and trio arrangements of jazz standards as well as original suites of music for trio, large ensembles, and symphony orchestra. His popular DVD recording with the Berlin Philharmonic showcases his ground-breaking arrangement of Gershwin’s Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra (“A Gershwin Night”, EuroArts 2003).

Roberts launched his own record label, J-Master Records, in 2009. Since then, he has released several popular recordings on that label including New Orleans Meets Harlem, Volume 1 (trio), Deep in the Shed: A Blues Suite (nonet), Celebrating Christmas (trio), From Rags to Rhythm (trio), Together Again: Live in Concert (quartet), Together Again: In the Studio (quartet), and Romance, Swing, and the Blues (with the Modern Jazz Generation). In the fall of 2017, he released his newest recording called Trio Crescent: Celebrating Coltrane. Roberts tours with his long-standing trio featuring two phenomenal musicians—Rodney Jordan (bass) and Jason Marsalis (drums). Marsalis has held the drum chair in the trio for 22 years and when this trio performs, they sound like they have been performing together for decades. One of Roberts’ more recent musical projects is the founding of a new band called The Modern Jazz Generation. This multigenerational ensemble is the realization of Roberts’ long-standing dedication to training and mentoring younger jazz musicians. Both Marsalis and Jordan are also key founding members of this band.

In addition to his renown as a performer, Roberts is also an accomplished composer who has received numerous commissioning awards, including ones from Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, ASCAP, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Savannah Music Festival, which co-commissioned him to write his first piano concerto—”Spirit of the Blues: Piano Concerto in C-Minor” (2013). In 2016, Roberts premiered his second piano concerto, “Rhapsody in D for Piano and Orchestra”, at the Ozawa Music Festival in Matsumoto, Japan. That piece was commissioned by the Seiji Ozawa and the Saito Kinen Orchestra.

Roberts has long been dedicated to the training and development of younger musicians. Each year, he returns to the Savannah Music Festival where he serves as an Associate Artistic Director as well as the Director of the annual Swing Central Jazz programs that bring high school students from all over the country to Savannah for educational programs and a band competition. Roberts is an associate professor of music at the School of Music at Florida State University. He holds an honorary Doctor of Music degree from The Juilliard School.

Rodney Jordan

Jazz bassist Rodney Jordan is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. He grew up playing bass in church and like Marcus Roberts, these roots are the foundation for his rich and soulful sound. Jordan went on to study classical upright bass at Jackson State University. This training led him to positions as Assistant Principal Bassist and Principal Bassist with leading state and regional orchestras in Mississippi and Georgia. While living in Atlanta, Jordan became one of the city’s most sought-after 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. Jordan joined the faculty at Florida State University in 2001, where he now serves as an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies. It was there that Jordan and Roberts first played together, while working to train young aspiring musicians. In 2009, Jordan took over the bass chair in Roberts’ trio and he quickly became known for his virtuosity, quick reflexes, and musical wit. His hard-swinging style has earned him the nickname Rodney “Swing” Jordan. Jordan is a perfect fit for Roberts’ melodic, blues-based, rhythmically syncopated improvisational group style. He has also been instrumental to the training of many of the younger musicians in the Modern Jazz Generation, a 10-12 piece band featuring three generations of jazz musicians. Jordan is a gifted and generous teacher who is respected by all. He has been featured on all of Roberts’ recordings since 2009, including the most recent, Trio Crescent: Celebrating Coltrane. He released his own CD as a leader, Playing Jazz, in 2017.

Jason Marsalis

Drummer Jason Marsalis is the youngest son of pianist and music educator Ellis Marsalis. At age seven, he was sitting in with his father’s jazz group and progressed so rapidly as a drummer that his father started using him for some of his own engagements. Shortly after graduation from New Orleans Center for Creative Arts in 1995, Marsalis joined a new trio lead by virtuoso pianist Marcus Roberts, while furthering his educational goals at Loyola University in New Orleans. In 2008, Marsalis began playing vibraphone and touring with his vibes quartet. At the same time, Marsalis has remained an instrumental member of the Marcus Roberts Trio. His skill at the drum set has been a critical part of the sound and philosophy of the trio for many years, and, in fact, he has been featured on all of Roberts’ recordings for almost 25 years. During that same time period, he continued to release his own recordings both on vibes and on drums. His most recent recording, Melody Reimagined, Book 1, was critically acclaimed in the jazz world. In recent years, Marsalis has also become increasingly known for his own educational contributions. He frequently teaches at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and he is a key member of The Modern Jazz Generation group, helping to train many of the younger musicians in the band.

BFAS 50th Signature Concert Sponsors

DEBBIE POUNDERS

VISUAL ARTIST

ARTIST BIO

In addition to its outstanding concerts and educational outreach programs, BFAS also presents an art exhibition from a regional visual artist at each home concert.

Works are showcased at the concert and at the reception following each concert. Concert attendees are able to meet the artists at the reception. The exhibition remains in place for several weeks and works are available for purchase.

VENUE

St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church
465 11th Avenue North
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Doors open at 3:15PM

MARCUS ROBERTS TRIO

FEB. 5, 2023 AT 4:00PM

free admission

 

Visual Artist
Debbie Pounders

ST. PAUL’S BY-THE-SEA EPISCOPAL CHURCH

 

BFAS 50th Signature Concert Sponsors

THE ARTISTS

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

The Marcus Roberts Trio is a long-term musical partnership between pianist, Marcus Roberts, the phenomenal drummer Jason Marsalis, and gifted bassist Rodney Jordan. The Trio is known for its virtuosic style and entirely new approach to jazz trio performance. While most jazz trios have the piano front and center, all members of the Marcus Roberts Trio share equally in shaping the direction of the music by changing its tempo, mood, texture, or form at any time, and they do this with lightning quick musical reflexes and creative imagination. The Trio is known for having almost telepathic communication on the stage. More than a few concert goers have been heard to say that it sounds like a lot more than three people up there on the stage!

The Marcus Roberts Trio believes in ‘letting the music take over’ and the result is a powerfully rhythmic and melodic sound that is filled with rhythmic, harmonic, and dynamic contrast. One of the most enjoyable aspects of watching this trio perform is that it is so evident that these three musicians are really having fun playing together and listening to each other.

“One way Roberts individualizes his sound is by utilizing orchestral devices initially borrowed from the Ahmad Jamal Trio. In the course of a single piece, he constantly modulates grooves, tempos and keys, plays separate time signatures with the right hand and the left, and, as he puts it, “flips around the roles of the piano, bass and drums by giving everyone an equal opportunity to develop the concepts and themes, to change the form, to get us where we’re getting ready to go.” Ted Panken, Jazziz Magazine. Added to the logic and balanced trio style of Ahmad Jamal, is the swing and virtuosity of the Oscar Peterson Trio, combined with the buoyant joyous sound of Erroll Garner. These influences provide a rich foundation for the ever evolving and expanding sound of the Marcus Roberts Trio. The musical cues combine with musical inspiration from all over the world, which guarantees that audiences never know where this trio is heading; influences from Africa, Europe, and South America are combined with American traditions to give this group an infinite palate of styles, timbres and colors to draw from.

Marcus Roberts

Pianist/composer Marcus Roberts has been hailed “the genius of the modern piano”. In 2014, the celebrated CBS News television show, 60 Minutes, profiled his life and work on a segment entitled “The Virtuoso”.  The show traced Roberts’ life to date 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 grew up in Jacksonville, FL where his mother’s gospel singing and the music of the local church left a lasting impact on his own musical style. He began teaching himself to play piano at age five after losing his sight, but didn’t have his first formal lesson until age 12. Despite that late start, he progressed quickly through hard work and good teachers. At age 18, he went on to study classical piano at Florida State University with the great Leonidas Lipovetsky, whose own teacher was the celebrated Madame Rosina Lhévinne.

Roberts has won numerous awards and competitions over the years, but the one that is most personally meaningful to him is the Helen Keller Award for Personal Achievement. While Roberts is known for his remarkable ability to blend the jazz and classical idioms to create something wholly new, he may be even better known for his development of an entirely new approach to jazz trio performance.

Roberts’ critically-acclaimed legacy of recorded music reflects this tremendous artistic versatility. His recordings include solo piano, duets, and trio arrangements of jazz standards as well as original suites of music for trio, large ensembles, and symphony orchestra. His popular DVD recording with the Berlin Philharmonic showcases his ground-breaking arrangement of Gershwin’s Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra (“A Gershwin Night”, EuroArts 2003).

Roberts launched his own record label, J-Master Records, in 2009. Since then, he has released several popular recordings on that label including New Orleans Meets Harlem, Volume 1 (trio), Deep in the Shed: A Blues Suite (nonet), Celebrating Christmas (trio), From Rags to Rhythm (trio), Together Again: Live in Concert (quartet), Together Again: In the Studio (quartet), and Romance, Swing, and the Blues (with the Modern Jazz Generation). In the fall of 2017, he released his newest recording called Trio Crescent: Celebrating Coltrane. Roberts tours with his long-standing trio featuring two phenomenal musicians—Rodney Jordan (bass) and Jason Marsalis (drums). Marsalis has held the drum chair in the trio for 22 years and when this trio performs, they sound like they have been performing together for decades. One of Roberts’ more recent musical projects is the founding of a new band called The Modern Jazz Generation. This multigenerational ensemble is the realization of Roberts’ long-standing dedication to training and mentoring younger jazz musicians. Both Marsalis and Jordan are also key founding members of this band.

In addition to his renown as a performer, Roberts is also an accomplished composer who has received numerous commissioning awards, including ones from Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, ASCAP, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Savannah Music Festival, which co-commissioned him to write his first piano concerto—”Spirit of the Blues: Piano Concerto in C-Minor” (2013). In 2016, Roberts premiered his second piano concerto, “Rhapsody in D for Piano and Orchestra”, at the Ozawa Music Festival in Matsumoto, Japan. That piece was commissioned by the Seiji Ozawa and the Saito Kinen Orchestra.

Roberts has long been dedicated to the training and development of younger musicians. Each year, he returns to the Savannah Music Festival where he serves as an Associate Artistic Director as well as the Director of the annual Swing Central Jazz programs that bring high school students from all over the country to Savannah for educational programs and a band competition. Roberts is an associate professor of music at the School of Music at Florida State University. He holds an honorary Doctor of Music degree from The Juilliard School.

Rodney Jordan

Jazz bassist Rodney Jordan is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. He grew up playing bass in church and like Marcus Roberts, these roots are the foundation for his rich and soulful sound. Jordan went on to study classical upright bass at Jackson State University. This training led him to positions as Assistant Principal Bassist and Principal Bassist with leading state and regional orchestras in Mississippi and Georgia. While living in Atlanta, Jordan became one of the city’s most sought-after 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. Jordan joined the faculty at Florida State University in 2001, where he now serves as an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies. It was there that Jordan and Roberts first played together, while working to train young aspiring musicians. In 2009, Jordan took over the bass chair in Roberts’ trio and he quickly became known for his virtuosity, quick reflexes, and musical wit. His hard-swinging style has earned him the nickname Rodney “Swing” Jordan. Jordan is a perfect fit for Roberts’ melodic, blues-based, rhythmically syncopated improvisational group style. He has also been instrumental to the training of many of the younger musicians in the Modern Jazz Generation, a 10-12 piece band featuring three generations of jazz musicians. Jordan is a gifted and generous teacher who is respected by all. He has been featured on all of Roberts’ recordings since 2009, including the most recent, Trio Crescent: Celebrating Coltrane. He released his own CD as a leader, Playing Jazz, in 2017.

Jason Marsalis

Drummer Jason Marsalis is the youngest son of pianist and music educator Ellis Marsalis. At age seven, he was sitting in with his father’s jazz group and progressed so rapidly as a drummer that his father started using him for some of his own engagements. Shortly after graduation from New Orleans Center for Creative Arts in 1995, Marsalis joined a new trio lead by virtuoso pianist Marcus Roberts, while furthering his educational goals at Loyola University in New Orleans. In 2008, Marsalis began playing vibraphone and touring with his vibes quartet. At the same time, Marsalis has remained an instrumental member of the Marcus Roberts Trio. His skill at the drum set has been a critical part of the sound and philosophy of the trio for many years, and, in fact, he has been featured on all of Roberts’ recordings for almost 25 years. During that same time period, he continued to release his own recordings both on vibes and on drums. His most recent recording, Melody Reimagined, Book 1, was critically acclaimed in the jazz world. In recent years, Marsalis has also become increasingly known for his own educational contributions. He frequently teaches at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and he is a key member of The Modern Jazz Generation group, helping to train many of the younger musicians in the band.

DEBBIE POUNDERS

VISUAL ARTIST

ARTIST BIO

In addition to its outstanding concerts and educational outreach programs, BFAS also presents an art exhibition from a regional visual artist at each home concert.

Works are showcased at the concert and at the reception following each concert. Concert attendees are able to meet the artists at the reception. The exhibition remains in place for several weeks and works are available for purchase.

VENUE

St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church
465 11th Avenue North
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Doors open at 3:15PM