Saxophonist and composer Marc McDonald’s music possesses a warm, lyrical quality while spanning a broad emotional range. If the best jazz tells stories, then McDonald’s tales run the gamut from joyous to poignant, exhilarating to contemplative.
McDonald has led groups for over 25 years in the New York/New Jersey area and such cities as Honolulu, London and Athens. In 2008, he released his debut CD as a leader It Doesn’t End Here, which features his own compositions and inventive arrangements of standards. The music draws on a variety of influences, including mainstream jazz, Brazilian music, and New Orleans R&B.
McDonald's career as a sideman has been similarly active and varied. In a jazz context, he has been a member of award-winning composer Jamie Begian's big band (a crack large ensemble-TimeOut NY) since 1998, appearing as a featured soloist on the band's CD Trance.
His rock credits include concert guest appearances in England and the United States with vocalist Henry Rollins and studio work for bands such as Ween. On the cabaret circuit, he has recorded several CDs and toured internationally with singer Quinn Lemley.
In 1990, McDonald was one of ten jazz composers invited to participate in the ASCAP/Louis Armstrong Jazz Composers Workshop at New York's Lincoln Center, and he also attended the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in New York for several years. In the years 1991 and 1994-96, the Trenton (N.J.) Avant Garde Festival invited him to premiere works for jazz chamber ensemble, solo saxophone, and saxophone quartet.