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The New York Times described him as a “dauntingly skilled trumpeter” and the Chicago Tribune asserts that “his music crystallizes the hard-hitting, hardswinging spirit of Chicago jazz”. Hill hones a warm, mellifluous tone on trumpet and flugelhorn with which he unravels sleek melodic passages that are as commanding as they are cogent. As a composer, he builds upon his distinctive sound to craft arresting originals that embrace R’n’B and spoken word. After releasing four well received discs on Skiptone Music raised his profile by winning the 2014 Thelonious Trumpet Competition, which awared a $25,000 scholarship and a recording contract with Concord Records.
Music seized Hill’s imagination at an early age. While growing up in the Chatham neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, he began playing the drums at age four. But he was inspired to switch to trumpet after hearing his older cousin practice the instrument. Hill’s introduction to jazz arrived when he was only in the 5th grade, while attending Dixon Elementary School. Lee Morgan album, igniting an inextinguishable artistic glow. Hill says. “I listened to that Lee Morgan record and had my mind blown. Since that moment I’ve just been in love with this music.” The next year, Hill met another musical educator who would have a profound influence – Ronald Carter, the director for Northern Illinois University. Hill also participated in the Ravinia Jazz Scholars, which afforded him the opportunity to learn under such established jazz artists as Bobby Broom, Willie Pickens and Tito Carrillo. In 2014, Hill moved to New York while still making numerous appearances in Chicago. Focusing on his solo career is paramount, but he’s still making waves as a sideman for internationally acclaimed artists such as bassist Marcus Miller and saxophonist Joe Lovano. Two years after winning the Monk Competition, Hill says that he’s still on cloud nine. “Winning that competition taught me to trust myself and keep working hard for what I believe in,” he says. “That experience taught me that I’m here for a purpose. So I need to keep pushing my music forward.”
Marquis Hill | trumpet, Christopher McBride | sax, Justin Thomas | vibraphone, Joshua Ramos | bass, Makaya McCraven | drums
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