Marcus Roberts

Marcus Roberts grew up in Jacksonville, Florida where his mother's gospel singing and the music of the local church left a lasting impact on his own musical style. After losing his sight at age five, he began teaching himself to play piano a few years later. He had his first formal lessons at age twelve and ultimately went on to study classical piano at Florida State University with Leonidus Lipovetsky. While at FSU, Roberts won the first of many competitions and awards, the young artist's competition at the 1982 National Association of Jazz Educators annual conference. His many other awards include first prize at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 1987, a National Academy of Achievement award in 1995 and the Helen Keller Award for Personal Achievement in 1998.

At age 21, Roberts began touring with Wynton Marsalis and stayed with the group for over six years. He signed his first recording contract with BMG/Novus in 1988 and completed six recordings for them before signing with Columbia Records early in 1994. All of his recordings have been critically acclaimed, and several have reached the No. 1 spot on Billboard's traditional jazz chart. Roberts’ recording legacy reflects his tremendous versatility as an artist and includes solo piano, duets, and trio arrangements of jazz standards, original suites of music, large ensemble works, and symphony orchestra recordings.

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April 21, 2019

The swinging art of the jazz trio - at its best

February 17, 2016

Jazz this week: Marcus Roberts, Bethany Pickens, a tribute to Lee...

May 09, 2014

Jazz This Week: Marcus Roberts Trio, Denise Thimes with Cyrus Chestnut...

November 29, 2012

Jazz This Week: John Pizzarelli, Kirk Whalum, Marcus Roberts, Four in...

November 28, 2012

The Sheldon, Metrotix Offering "Buy One, Get One Free" Discount on...

November 18, 2012

STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Deep in the Shed with Marcus Roberts

September 04, 2012

Marcus Roberts: Romance, Swing, and the Blues October 12-13 in Rose...

February 08, 2012

Kevin Eubanks Band, Walter Trout, Bela Fleck & The Marcus Roberts Trio...

March 21, 2011

The Music of Bud Powell & Earl Hines - April 29 & 30 - Rose Theater

February 21, 2010

Marcus Roberts Reprises His Seminal 1990 Release "Deep in the Shed"

July 23, 2009

Warmly Balancing Mind and Heart

May 23, 2009

The Marcus Roberts Trio at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

May 10, 2009

Pianist Marcus Roberts Interviewed at AAJ

January 15, 2009

Pianist Marcus Roberts' New Orleans Meets Harlem, Vol. 1

November 15, 2008

Marcus Roberts, Danilo Perez and More - Monk Festival - Jazz at Lincoln...

July 18, 2008

Marsalis Protege Turns Mentor to Jazz Trumpeter's Kid Brother

December 28, 2007

Marcus Roberts - Deep in the Shed - A Blues Suite Concert

March 10, 2006

Marcus Roberts Trio and SFJAZZ Collective Swing Verizon Hall

November 15, 2005

Marcus Roberts Trio at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

March 18, 2005

Marcus Roberts & Jason Moran - Jazz at Lincoln Center

”Glowing is the proper response to Roberts' music” —Josef Woodard, The Independent

“Mr. Roberts... plays almost completely free of cliches, and while the intellectual construct within which he works is old - the application of the modern on a foundation of tradition—his ability in all his idioms seemed startlingly thorough.” —Peter Watrous, New York Times

“That the huge crowd at Orchestra Hall on Friday night responded...with an instantaneous standing ovation said a great deal about Roberts' ability to keep an audience in his spell.” —Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“The sheer power and beauty of Roberts' creations...warrant further investigation.” —Larry Blumenfeld, Jazziz

“[Roberts'] writing is often brilliant in its juxtaposition of distant musical eras, ...its believable evocation of mood, ...and the way solos are made to emerge organically from the ensembles.” —Thomas Conrad, Downbeat

“Although “classically” trained, Roberts is primarily a jazz pianist and composer

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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

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On the faculty at Florida State University School of Music

Clinic/Workshop Information

Does clinics and workshops in a wide range of settings. Is Director of Educational programs for Savannah Music Festival

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