In 1999, Marcus Shelby's interest in composing for jazz orchestra and his work in collaboration with the Bay Area multidisciplinary arts organization Intersection for the Arts led him to form the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra. The MSJO is comprised of some of the Bay Areas most respected and sought after young musicians including Rob Barics, Gabe Eaton, Darren Johnston and Danny Grewen. In the last six years, Shelby has written an extensive series of original compositions and suites as well as orchestrated a broad survey of arrangements from great jazz big band composers Duke Ellington, Billy
Strayhorn, Charles Mingus and Count Basie. Marcus has been awarded two residencies with Intersection for the Arts through Theater Communications Group and Meet the Composer and in 2000 was awarded the Creative Work Fund grant to compose for the MSJO. The project resulted in the recording “The Lights”. In 2002, Shelby was commissioned by the Equal Justice Society to composer a suite for jazz orchestra in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Port Chicago Mutiny. In 2005, Marcus received the Creative Work Fund grant to compose a jazz oratoria for jazz orchestra which narrates the life of Harriet Tubman. In addition to developing commissioned works, the orchestra currently performs at Bay Area clubs and concert venues.

Bass/Conductor: Marcus Shelby
Dave Scott, Mike Olmos, Joel Ryan, Darren Johnston
Danny Grewen, Scott Larson, Marc Bolin
Gabe Eaton
Marcus Stephens
Rob Barics
Evan Francis
Tom Griesser
Adam Shulman
Jeff Marrs

Eric Moffat: Sound Engineer

Marc Bolin has performed with such organizations as the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras, Carla Bley, the Virginia Beach Pops, Sheila E, Pete Escovedo, and the Ink Spots. Marc can be heard performing with the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orch, Oakland Opera, Realistic Orchestra, Avance, Paradigm Brass, Dream Kitchen, Joseph's Bones, Low-End Theory and the Mitch Marcus Quintet +13.

In addition to playing music, Marc is an experienced teacher and youth advocate who has worked with multicultural youth from diverse backgrounds at the elementary and high school levels in workshops and residencies stretching from one day to 10 months. His work as an arts-educator has included appointments throughout the Bay Area. He is also co-founder of Toones, After- school Music Enrichment program

Evan Francis
was born and raised in Venice, Ca. He lived and played in the LA area until he was 23 at which point he moved to San Francisco and soon came under the radar of Maestro Shelby. Aside from Marcus's projects, locally he also plays with the Realistic Orchestra, the Ian Carey Quintet as well as his own band, Spaceheater. Highlights of his career include performing/recording music with Billy Higgins, Dr. Art Davis, John Clayton, Prince Buster, Stevie Wonder, Michael Buble (including an appearance on the Tonight Show), Sheila E., Christina Aguilera and Mike Keneally.

Tom Griesser (baritone saxophone) became a jazz fan at age six after hearing his father's Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington records. He studied clarinet with Richard Joiner of the Denver Symphony Orchestra, and saxophone with Art Bouton during high school in Redlands, California. While earning a degree in political science at Stanford, he took saxophone lessons from Hal Stein.

Since moving to San Francisco in 1990, Griesser has freelanced as a saxophonist and clarinetist with a variety of groups. From 1992 to 1995, he played tenor saxophone with St. Vitus Dance, a group heavily steeped in 1940's rhythm and blues, and from 1997 to 1999, he toured extensively with the neo-swing group The New Morty Show. In the mid-1990's, he co-led a jazz quintet, the Section 8 Project, that played original compositions as well as the music of Charles Mingus. Among others, Griesser has also performed with Atomic Cocktail, Groove Unit, J.C. Hopkins, the Mood Swing Orchestra, Graham Connah, Brass Monkey Brass Band, and his own trio, 3 Go T. He has been a member of the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra since 1999. His web site is

Darren Johnston, originally from Ontario, Canada, has been living in the Bay Area since 1997. He has been fortunate enough to play a wide variety of styles, with a wide variety of inspiring musicians such as Fred Frith, Don Byron, Marcus Shelby, Adam Lane's Full Throttle Orchesra, the ROVA Saxaphone Quartet, Ben Goldberg, Grahm Connah, Wolter Wierbos, Herbie Lewis, Scott Amendolla, and others. In the dance world Darren has collaborated with local companies such as Robert Moses's Kin, Kunst-Stoff, Rapt, Savage Jazz and the Oakland Ballet (both via the Marcus Shelby Orchesra), and for two years the all-improvised 14 Bells project, featuring local dancers as well as members of Ballet Frankfurt and the Dutch National Ballet. As a composer and band leader Darren runs the Darren Johnston Trio, Quintet, United Brassworkers Front, The Saint Jude Memorial Dance Band, the Empty Chamber Ensemble, and the Scenty-Gents.

Dave Scott graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor's Degree in Instrumental Music Education in 1987. from 1988-1990 he was Teaching Assistant to the Professor of Trumpet at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), and also to the Director of Jazz Studies. After completing his Master's Degree in Trumpet Performance from UNC, Dave joined and toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1992 as lead trumpet and featured soloist. Moving to the Bay Area in 1993, Dave worked to find his niche in the fabulous local jazz community. Dave has recorded and toured with Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, and currently plays trumpet and keyboards with Boz Scaggs. You can also find Dave playing lead trumpet every Monday night at Jazz at Pearl's in North Beach, and every Sunday morning playing in the Change Band at Glide Memorial Church.

Adam Shulman has been a staple of the San Francisco Jazz scene since he moved to the city in 2002. Before the move, Adam was a student at UC Santa Cruz where he studied with the great Smith Dobson and the trumpeter/arranger Ray Brown. He received his degree in classical performance under the tutelage of the Russian pianist Maria Ezerova. Currently, Adam plays regularly with Marcus Shelby in large and small group contexts and with Anton Schwartz mostly in a trio setting. He can also be seen as a sideman with countless bay area musicians and vocalists such as John Wittala, Vince Lateano, Kitty Margolis, Andrew Speight, Michelle Amador, Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee, Ian Cary, and Mike Zilber. Adam has played as a sideman with internationally renowned artists Stefon Harris and Willie Jones III and is often called when a pianist is needed for out-of-town acts.

Though, his roots are in be-bop, Adam is a very versatile player and has a lot of post-bop and modern influence apparent in his playing. His main influences include Barry Harris, Sonny Clark, Tommy Flanagan, Wynton Kelly, Hank Jones and more modern players such as Herbie Hancock and Fred Hersch. Bill Evans has always been a huge influence on Adam’s playing, particularly in the intensity of his treatment of melody. Adam can be seen on Monday nights at Jazz at Pearls playing with the Contemporary West Jazz Orchestra and the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at the House of Shields with the Ian Cary Quintet. A full schedule is available at