Director/Education Director: Marcus Shelby
Born in February 1966, Marcus Shelby has been
playing the acoustic bass for 23 years. In this time, he has built
a diverse and accomplished biography. Shelby was bandleader of Columbia
Records and GRP Impulse! Recording Artists Black/Note and is currently
the Artistic Director and leader of The Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra,
The Marcus Shelby Septet and the Marcus Shelby Trio. In addition,
Shelby holds an instructor position at the Berkeley Young Musician
Program, San Francisco State University and the Stanford Jazz Workshop
and is the 2006 Fellow in the Resident Dialogues Program of the
Committee for Black Performing Arts at Stanford University. As the
1991 winner of the Charles Mingus Scholarship, Shelby’s studies
include work under the tutelage of composer James Newton and legendary
bassist Charlie Haden. Recent honors include the City Flight Magazine
2005 award as one of the “Top Ten Most Influential African
Americans in the Bay Area”.
Full Bio Link | Download
Executive Director/Project Director:
Kate Dumbleton has been working in the San
Francisco arts scene in various capacities since 1994. In addition
to owning her own art exhibition and performance space and cafe,
Cafe Royale, Kate's experiences include music direction and programming
for jazz clubs, curating and direction of artist residencies for
nonprofit arts organizations, project and production direction,
venue management, executive direction and artist managment. Kate
is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Art History, Administration
and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Full Bio Link | Download
Kate Dumbleton, producer for 'Port Chicago'
and executive director of MSJO observes from the recording booth.
June 23, 2005. photographer Rodolfo Jones
Jazz is an essential component of American socio-political and creative
history. Its future is dependent on a broad commitment to exploring
its roots and social impact, on interpreting and teaching the work
of creative masters, and on creating opportunities for composing
As an organization, the MSJO is dedicated
both to exploring the great American art forms of Jazz composition
and performance, and to building on those traditions. Specifically,
MSJO is committed to ensuring that audiences and students alike
are exposed on many levels to jazz of all kinds-to the work of the
architects of jazz composition, such as
Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, and Count Basie, as well as to
that of contemporary composers-so that they can actively engage
the riches of the past, appreciate the context for the present,
and consider the building blocks of the future.
Our vision is to ensure that the riches
and cultural impact of the Jazz tradition will always be part of
the larger discussion of American art.
MSJO explores jazz composition primarily thru commissions to Marcus
Shelby to composer for The Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra. Commissions
may include multidisciplinary collaborations with artists and arts
organizations- dance companies, performance groups, writers- or
may be straightforward commission for the composition of new work.
Commissions may also include composition for formats other than
a jazz orchestra such as film scores, smaller ensemble composition
or new arrangements of existing jazz compositions for voice or ensemble/orchestra.
The Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra has an extensive performance repertoire,
which includes work by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Charles Mingus
and original compositions by Marcus Shelby and other orchestra members.
The orchestra performs at a range of venues from clubs and schools
to formal presenting environments.
MSJO is dedicated to education in a variety of capacities. Capabilities
include curriculum design and/or consulting and teaching for music
programs (all ages), artist talks in formal or alternative environments,
musical arrangements for music students, educational performance
programs, orchestration, private lessons and multidisciplinary educational
“Harriet Tubman: Bound for the
Promised Land”: The Creative Work Fund for
New Work in collaboration with Yerba Buena Garden Festival and the
Museum of the African Diaspora
Marcus Shelby has received the Creative Work Fund from the Haas
Foundation to compose a new work based on the life of Harriet Tubman,
a great American hero. Shelby will compose an Oratorio for Jazz
Orchestra which is a composition for orchestra and voice and will
feature the MSJO and vocalists. Ongoing Fall 2005-Fall 2007
Commissioned by the Oakland Ballet in collaboration with choreographer
Donald McKayle. Marcus Shelby received a commission from the Oakland
Ballet to arrange a ballet suite called "Ella" based on
the musical magic of jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. Shelby worked
with choreographer and teacher Donald McKayle and jazz vocalist
Ledisi to bring this work to life.
The Oakland Ballet presented their 40th year anniversary season
in fall 2005; "Ella" was one of 2 premiere works on the
program. Fall 2005
"Port Chicago" is a suite for jazz orchestra. This composition has
2 acts written in 15 parts. It was commissioned by the Equal Justice
Society in 2002 and completed in July 2004. The premier of Port
Chicago was premiered at the African American Museum and Library
at Oakland on July 31, 2004 and performed by the Marcus Shelby Jazz
Orchestra. Port Chicago is based on the libretto written by Val
Hendrickson, based on the book "Port Chicago Mutiny" written
by Dr. Robert Allen.
Copyright © 2006-2008, Marcus Shelby, all rights reserved.
For permission to use photographs please contact Scott