Composing

The Rose Theatre Co. Composer-in-Residence

It is so exciting to announce that I am now the new composer-in-residence for The Rose Theatre Co. in Washington D.C.

Creating signature music for The Rose’s new podcast The Rose Rhapsody is the very first commission.  The podcast will debut June 7th, 2021 and drop new episodes with new arrangements the first Monday of every month.

This vision is to create new music from the original score of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin.  Through new arrangement and orchestration of the melodic themes, new vignettes now form a suite of new music with a deference to the iconic piece and composer.

Very Marie

The very first sounds of the duet Very Marie introduce listeners to the pianistic touch and romantic ballad style of Adrian Ruiz. 

The song was written in tribute to my muse and love Marie to emulate her style and aesthetic sense. 

My trumpet solo was expressed with genuine intention, beauty and warmth.  

The song is featured on Figure One and was played at the 2019 relase concert in Chicago's South Loop at PianoForte.

The Compass

My album Blueprints Figure One: Frameworks opens with an original titled The Compass.

It is a composition dedicated to my mother Lois Jo.  Brice Winston plays an emotive and energetic tenor saxophone solo immediately followed by the mysterious, searching style of Matt Gold’s guitar that develops into a groove

Gusto, as in Mucho

Percussion instruments are played on the recording by Heitor Garcia gracing the album on congas for the Cuban-styled original Gusto, as in Mucho.

A Shortstop in Cleveland

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The shortstop is Lou Boudreau. A Player manager in the Cleveland Indians in the 1940s. The tune was inspired by many stories Markus' grandmother told about Lou — her cousin and by his kind and honest personality. The musical feel and shuffle of the composition reflect the ease and gait of a player with a relaxed confidence in professionalism and personal character.

The recorded version on the 2015 release of Second Impression has Markus in a muted horn and accompaniment role for the melody sections.  The bluesy saxophone of Brice Winston lifts the group with his inspired phrases as in the trading with guitarist Scott Hesse, a sought after guitarist from Chicago playing with passion. Scott also plays in a group lead by saxophonist Rajiv Halim. Rajiv is from a recent generation of accomplished musicians saturating the city of Chicago playing with fire and a reverence for his community — musical and otherwise. He chose "Shortstop" as vehicle for his improvisations on live performances that included his debut of it at the historic club The Jazz Showcase.             

Blue Modes (From the Underdog)

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Blue Modes (From the Underdog) borrows the chord progression from the title track ofthe 1985 recording Black Codes (From the Underground) by Wynton Marsalis.

This tune was recorded by Markus in October 2014 for his recording Second Impression. Markus' sound and feel are characteristic of him on a slower groove — rhythmic nuance with the phrases and responses by thoughtful listening and interplay with the band.

Markus brought Blue Modes to a performance at Andy's Jazz Club for a night lead by Marques Carroll with his Three Trumpets band. Marques is a multi-faceted musician who plays trumpet made the decision that night to add the tune to his his band's repertoire at the time.

Tweedle Dee

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Written in his early twenties, Markus has recorded the tune Tweedle Dee on two separate occasions.

It is another piece with Phrygian sounds and a blues undercurrent. An early representation of the compositional style Markus has developed, it has a singable melodic statements, logic in form and progression, an element of surprise and always with roots in the blues. 

Figure 8

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The recorded version of this tune is on the debut release by Markus called It's Cooler by the Lake. The eighth tune composed by Markus while a college student in New Orleans, the version features collaborators Christopher Madsen on tenor saxophone and drummer Isaiah Spencer. Isaiah is an inspirational figure on the Chicago scene as leader, sideman and mentor to many new musicians here with the spirit of Fred Anderson and the Velvet Lounge.

The Neutral Ground

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The Neutral Ground is written in the style of a songbook standard and was named after the the New Orleans patois for the grassy medians along the streets he traveled when riding from the lakefront to the French Quarter as president of the city.

Two other important contributors on the recorded version are pianist Dennis Luxion on a memorable solo and bassist Jeff Pedraz with his arco statement reminiscent of the great Paul Chambers known widely from the first Miles Davis Quintet.