Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra

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.

Home Base: San Francisco