Marcus Shelby's press page includes reviews on concert performances,
upcoming performances, award ceremonies, film work, interviews,
partners, and novelty articles. Please click on any of the links
below to learn more about Marcus Shelby and the Marcus Shelby Jazz
photo: Thomas J. Story [sunset.com]
Downloadable press materials
Marcus Shelby/MSJO Press pack
East Bay Express
Marcus Shelby's Conversant Bass
“Anna Deavere Smith enlisted local bassist Marcus Shelby for a play about mass incarceration in America.” ...Read…
Chatting with Anna Deavere Smith
“Playwright, actor, and educator Anna Deavere Smith isn't volunteering to be a modern day Atlas. ” ...Read…
San Francisco Chronicle
Anna Deavere Smith explores race, schools and the road to prison
“This is one of those rare moments when people do begin to think about race relations in this country” ...Read…
Bassist Marcus Shelby Finds Freedom’s Message in the Music
“Bassist and bandleader Marcus Shelby is a perennial Bay Area jazz favorite whose compositions explore the African American experience...”...Read...
Behind Bars: Bay Area Jazz Veteran Marcus Shelby on the Failures of the U.S. Prison System -- and Why We All Should Care
“You don’t need to be plugged into the Bay Area music scene for long to know the name Marcus Shelby. A seemingly tireless and always...”...Read...
Marcus Shelby brings Ellington’s ‘Thunder’ to Berkeley
“This is the story of a “local guy” who stuck to his guns and made it on his own terms. He’s a DIY musician. His name is Marcus Shelby...”…Read...
Jazz Legend Marcus Shelby Dreams Soundtrack for World Premiere of ‘Isfahan’
“With allusions to the Duke Ellington Orchestra’s 1963 tour of Iran, the world premiere of Isfahan Blues, a co-production of the African American Shakespeare Company and Golden Thread...”...Read...
5 Minutes with Jazz Bassist Marcus Shelby
“Whether performing with his big band or his Hot 7 septet, San Francisco-based jazz bassist and composter Marcus Shelby, 45, is creating...”...Read…
Jazz Musician Marcus Shelby
“Marcus Shelby knows how to stand out in a crowd. Perhaps it’s the natty straw fedora he wears to catch a Sunday night gig at a Mission District dive bar...”...Read…
Reflections in Rhythm
Reflections with Marcus Shelby
“Marcus Shelby first gained major public attention with the hard swinging unit BLACKNOTE and their debut recording from the indie label of...”...Read…
Marcus celebrates MLK's birthday at Red Poppy Art House,SF:
"Marcus Shelby, the composer and bassist, told this and other stories Friday night at a celebration of Dr. King’s 81st birthday at the Red Poppy Art House...The music soared, the solos uplifted..." ...Read...
January 7, 2010
Marcus Shelby brings Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King alive in LA!
"Someone laid Harriet Tubman on us, a two-disc concept thing by the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, and it knocked us out. The compositions and arranging have Mingus all over them, maybe not so pissed off, but ballsy, muscular music that gets the point across." ...Read...
East Bay Express
Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra
“There’s no debating Marcus Shelby’s genius as a composer. The San Francisco bassist is rumored to have perfect pitch and supposedly writes from memory...”...Read…
Tue, October 16, 2007
"Marcus Shelby marries lyrical life of Harriet Tubman with jazz"
Thu, October 18, 2007
"SF's Marcus Shelby illuminates history through jazz. Plus: Best bets for the SFJAZZ Festival"
Wed, January 10, 2007
Report Magazine 2006-05-05
The California Report
Fri, May 5, 2006 -- 4:30pm
KQED's statewide radio news program, providing daily coverage of
issues, trends and public policy decisions affecting California
and its diverse population.
Host: Scott Shafer
Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area” for 2005
Arts & Entertainment:
Music Composer and Arranger
Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, San Francisco
Shelby is an award winning composer, arranger, educator and bassist
working in San Francisco. His credits include original scoring for
film, theater and dance as well as jazz composition for his own
groups, the 15-piece Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra and the Marcus
Shelby Trio. He is nationally recognized for his innovative and
collaborative approach to composing and arranging for text, the
visual arts, dance and theater and for his commitment to using jazz
to narrate the rich history of African Americans. Marcus Shelby
is on the faculty at San Francisco State University and U.C. Berkeley’s
Young Musicians Program. More...
by Jack Bowers
"Are you aware of Port Chicago, and do you know what happened
there more than sixty years ago? Chances are you don’t, as
it’s not something American history books will likely mention
or military recruiters point to with pride. In brief: on July 17,
1944, a massive explosion at the Port Chicago Naval Base (near Oakland,
California) killed more than 320 men, most of them African-American
sailors, and injured some 400 others, by far the worst disaster
on US soil during World War II." More...
Music Director, jazz89-KUVO
The Oasis In The City
Colorado's First HD FM Radio Station
Celebrating 10 Years of Live Performances!
awhile since I've been so hyped about a new release, I have been
a fan of Marcus Shelby since day 1 with Black Note. His leader recordings
either as a trio or with orchestra have always been enjoyable, now
there's Port Chicago. Being aware of the Port Chicago incident since
the 1970's I was surprised someone addressed this little known and
often hidden part of history. The subject matter is provocative
as is the music. Last year Irvin Mayfield had a similar concept
album with his Strange Fruit look at lynching. Two snaps for Marcus."
Forrest Bryant, All About Jazz
"At once a
sober examination of World War II, a celebration of human movement
and an impassioned call to justice, Marcus Shelby's bold Port Chicago
suite weaves historical threads into a thoroughly modern statement."
Jazz Week JPL list
I'll throw in some
shout-outs to a couple of excellent upcoming releases by SF Bay
Shelby Jazz Orchestra's "Port Chicago" (Noir Records)
is a fantastic 14-part score for jazz ballet, inspired by the story
of African-Americans working in unsafe conditions at the Port Chicago
facility in Oakland during WWII. The horrendous munitions explosion
there in July 1944 killed 320 men, most of them African-Americans.
A subsequent wo rk stoppage by the survivors led to a massive mutiny
trial with 50 convictions (clemency was granted after the war, and
one man was formally pardoned --by Bill Clinton in 1999!). Anyway,
I got a preview copy of the disc a few days ago for a magazine article
I'm writing about Marcus, and I can't stop listening to it. It has
a great blend of Ellingtonian 40s big band swing and modern tone-poem
sounds, he really mixes up his time signatures (to keep things interesting
for a choreographer, as well as for himself), it's
just first-rate all around. I think the final CDs will be finished
in a couple of weeks."
Bassist, bandleader, and composer Marcus Shelby proves that music
is all around us.
by Tiffany Martini
Strings Magazine. More...
Dorka Keen interview with Marcus Shelby
Nothin' but the Swing: Bass player Marcus
Shelby keeps the past contemporary.
Jazz tradition thrives in Marcus Shelby's passionate hands
By Amanda Nowinski
In the key of war
San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, December 10, 2004
‘Billy the Kid’, ‘Ella’, ‘Double Happiness’,
‘Les Noces’, ‘Les Biches’
Oakland, Calvin Simmons Theatre
by Renee Renouf
of a Brown Planet
Youth Speaks and the National Performance Network Present
the World Premiere of Fear of a Brown Planet
Written and Performed by The Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word,
and Directed by Tony Garcia of El Centro Su Teatro (Denver, Colorado).
Music by Marcus Shelby & Lighting Design by Selina Young
Chitresh Das & Jason Samuels Smith: India Jazz Suites
Nov 11, 2005
By Allan Ulrich
Copyright © 2006-2008, Marcus Shelby, all rights reserved.