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Marcus Shelby Marcus Shelby

Marcus Shelby is a composer, arranger, band leader, bassist, and educator who currently lives in San Francisco, California. His work focuses on the history, present, and future of African American lives, social movements, and music education. In 1990, Marcus Shelby received the Charles Mingus Scholarship to attend Cal Arts and study composition with James Newton and bass with Charlie Haden. Currently, Shelby is an artist in residence with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival and a new resident artist director for the San Francisco Jazz Festival 2019-2020. Shelby is also an artist in residence at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival where he is the music director of the 100 member Freedom Jazz Choir, youth choir, and youth music ensemble. Shelby has composed several oratorios and suites including “Harriet Tubman”, “Beyond the Blues: A Prison Oratorio”, “Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”, “Black Ball: The Negro Leagues and the Blues”, “Green and Blues”, and a children’s opera “Harriet’s Spirit” produced by Opera Parallel 2018. Shelby also composed the score and performed in Anna Deveare’s off Broadway Play and HBO feature film “Notes from the Field” and has also worked on a range of productions, such as Joanna Haigood’s “Dying While Black and Brown” (2014), Margo Hall’s “Bebop Baby” (2013) and “Sonny’s Blues” (2008), the Oakland Ballet’s “Ella” The SF Girls Choir (2013), The Oakland Youth Chorus (2014), and many other productions over the past 21 years. Shelby has served on the San Francisco Arts Commission since 2013.

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Album Transitions by Marcus Shelby


Self Produced

Album Soul Of The Movement: Meditations On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Marcus Shelby

Soul Of The Movement:...

Porto Franco Records

Album Soul Of The Movement: Meditations On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Marcus Shelby

Soul Of The Movement:...

Porto Franco Records

Album Harriet Tubman by Marcus Shelby

Harriet Tubman

Noir Records

Album Port Chicago by Marcus Shelby

Port Chicago

Noir Records


The Lights Suite

Noir Records



Dave Liebman Dave Liebman
saxophone, soprano
Paula West Paula West
voice / vocals
Leon Thomas Leon Thomas
voice / vocals
Karl Denson Karl Denson
Acoustic Ladyland Acoustic Ladyland
Leroy Vinnegar Leroy Vinnegar
bass, acoustic
Dawan Muhammad Dawan Muhammad

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