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Todd Marcus

Bass clarinetist, composer, and bandleader Todd Marcus is one of the few jazz artists worldwide to focus exclusively on the bass clarinet as a solo instrument.

While use of bass clarinet in jazz typically tends to lean heavily towards avant-garde and free-jazz styles, Marcus’ playing presents the instrument with a modern straight-ahead jazz approach. His music swings hard with both fiery and introspective intensity but also maintains a strong lyrical sensibility.

Based in Baltimore, MD, Marcus actively leads small ensembles such as the Todd Marcus Quartet, Trio, and Duo as well as his nonet - The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra which features his compositions and arrangements for six horns, piano, bass, and drums.

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”[an] incredible bass clarinet player, arranger, and composer” - The Urbanite, February 2012

“Todd Marcus, a musical autodidact, plays the clarinet and bass clarinet (rarities in the jazz world) with sharp ease. His tidy but sprawled-out compostions have a similar preternatural comfort about them. As a result his swingin' punchy post-bop often comes off both comforting and challenging.” - CapitalBop, July 2011

“The bass clarinetist's original tunes and the top-notch, lively musicians in the orchestra deliver one of the most satisfying big-band sounds in the region” - Baltimore City Paper, January 5, 2011

“Marcus has deftly helmed [a] nine-piece orchestra, which features some of the region's more notable players” - Baltimore Sun, October 20, 2010

“...masterfully performed solos...If you need to get your blood pumping, this [music] will fit the bill.” - Examiner.com, November 26, 2010

“Powerful, intricate jazz flowing through a bass clarinet” - The B Daily, February 2010

“One of the area's finest jazz musicians.” - The Baltimore Times, September 2008


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Primary Instrument

Clarinet, bass


Baltimore, MD

Willing to teach

Advanced students only.


addition to feature performances, the Todd Marcus ensembles are all also available for clinics, workshops, and masterclasses. These education programs can be tailored for children or adults and both musicians and nonmusicians alike. These sessions are designed to expose participants to jazz and cultivate understanding and appreciation for the music. Todd Marcus education projects can be offered as one-time sessions or as a series of sequential events or residencies. Common topics featured include how to listen to jazz, coaching on ensemble and solo performing and improvisation, incorporation of different styles of music, and discussion of how to pursue a career as a professional jazz musician.

Clinic/Workshop Information

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