Trumpeter Marquis Hill (2014 Thelonious Monk Trumpet Competition Winner) and his cutting edge ÒBlacktetÓ featuring rising stars Greg Ward Ñ alto saxophone, Joel Ross Ñ vibraphone, Jeremiah Hunt Ñ bass and Jonathan Pinson Ñ drums visit the Jazzschool for this special workshop. Bio: From his beginnings as one of ChicagoÕs most thrilling young trumpeters, to his current status as an internationally renowned musician, composer and bandleader, Marquis Hill has worked tirelessly to break down the barriers that divide musical genres. Contemporary and classic jazz, hip-hop, R&B, Chicago house, neo-soulÑto Hill, theyÕre all essential elements of the profound African-American creative heritage heÕs a part of...
Trumpeter Marquis Hill (2014 Thelonious Monk Trumpet Competition Winner) and his cutting edge ÒBlacktetÓ featuring rising stars Greg Ward Ñ alto saxophone, Joel Ross Ñ vibraphone, Jeremiah Hunt Ñ bass and Jonathan Pinson Ñ drums visit the Jazzschool for this special workshop. Bio: From his beginnings as one of ChicagoÕs most thrilling young trumpeters, to his current status as an internationally renowned musician, composer and bandleader, Marquis Hill has worked tirelessly to break down the barriers that divide musical genres. Contemporary and classic jazz, hip-hop, R&B, Chicago house, neo-soulÑto Hill, theyÕre all essential elements of the profound African-American creative heritage heÕs a part of. ÒIt all comes from the same tree,Ó he says. ÒThey simply blossomed from different branches.Ó That mission to bring styles together, complemented by HillÕs absolute mastery of his instrument, is a through line connecting his many achievements. It can be heard on his latest album,ÊModern Flows Vol. II, with its seamless blend of jazz interplay, hip-hop-infused rhythms and socially conscious spoken-word. ItÕs integral toÊThe Way We Play, his Concord Jazz debut from 2016, where Hill and his musicians reinvent jazz standards using their generationÕs wide-ranging influences. It marks the four records Hill self-released before November of 2014, when he won the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz competition and became a presence on the global scene virtually overnight. And it defines the revelatory live dates by HillÕs longtime working group, the Blacktet, which theÊChicago TribuneÊcalled Òa remarkably polished, immensely attractive ensemble.Ó For Hill, playing and listening without limits has long been an instinct. ÒIt comes naturally; thatÕs the way I hear the music,Ó he says. ÒI came up in a household where my mom played Motown, R&B, Isley Brothers, Barry White, Marvin Gaye. Then I received my first jazz record, by Lee Morgan, and that was added to the collection. ... I truly believe that the music is all the same.Ó Born in Chicago in 1987 and raised on the cityÕs culturally rich South Side, Hill began playing drums at age 4, before switching to trumpet in the 6th grade. He attended high school at Kenwood Academy, excelling in its revered jazz-performance program, and was mentored by Bobby Broom, Willie Pickens, Tito Carrillo and other Chicago greats through the Ravinia Jazz Scholars program. Hill earned his bachelorÕs in music education from Northern Illinois University and his masterÕs in jazz pedagogy from DePaul University. During college he made gigs and sessions around Chicago, jamming with and absorbing wisdom from the likes of Fred Anderson, Ernest Dawkins and Von Freeman. Even then, Hill was known in town as a stunningly gifted trumpeter with a soulful, highly textured tone. His sound is now somehow both deeply distinctive and a tour through jazz-trumpet history, evoking the high-drama stillness and space of Miles; the undeniable virtuosity of Clifford Brown and Freddie Hubbard; the groove- savvy phrasing of Lee Morgan and Donald Byrd; and much more. Well before Hill won the Monk prizeÑarguably the most important jazz competition in the worldÑhis reputation for brilliance was firmly established in the Midwest, as a member of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, an in-demand sideman and a bandleader. He also developed into a precocious, determined young label owner, and has released five acclaimed discsÑNew Gospel,ÊSounds of the City,ÊThe PoetÊandÊModern Flows Vols. IÊandÊIIÑthrough his Black Unlimited Music Group imprint. ÒJust having my personality, thereÕs nothing like being in control of what you produce and put out into the world,Ó he says. ÒItÕs a great feeling.Ó A move to New York in 2014 helped him gain wider exposure and new opportunitiesÑthough he frequently returns to his hometown for gigs and projectsÑand in recent years Hill has garnered an enviable spate of press. Previewing a Blacktet show, theÊNew YorkerÊsaid, ÒHis performances and recordings reveal a smart post-bop player who circumvents genre clichŽs by incorporating elements of hip-hop and contemporary R. & B.Ó OfÊThe Way We Play,ÊDownBeatwrote, ÒThe groove-laden arrangements provide the perfect soundscape for HillÕs fluid improvisational style, which, with its glass-like lucidity, recalls the crisp elegance of hard-bop stalwart Donald Byrd.Ó In 2016, Hill earned first place in the ÒRising StarÐTrumpetÓ category in that magazineÕs storied Critics Poll. Throughout his journey, he has supported and guested with a whoÕs who of jazz that includes Marcus Miller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Boney James, Kurt Elling, Joe Lovano and HillÕs trailblazing Chicago peer Makaya McCraven. Today, Hill maintains a nonstop touring schedule with the Blacktet, and the intensely interactive, utterly unique band has become a kind of graduate school for next-level talentÑHill included.ÒOne of the most beautiful things about leading a group is the flow of knowledge and energy that we bounce off of one another,Ó he says. ÒEach member contributing their distinctive voice is what truly makes the music and magic happen.Ó
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