Trumpeter and composer Marquis Hill is widely recognized as one of the preeminent voices on the instrument of his generation. Raised in the Chatham neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, his introduction to music was made by taking up the drum kit in the fourth grade. However, after being inspired by a cousin his focus soon shifted to what was to become his primary instrument, the trumpet.
At 12 years of age, Mr. Hill became a member of the South Shore Youth Jazz Ensemble under the direction of saxophonist and educator Ronald Carter. He has been an active participant in the programs offered at Ravinia including the Ravinia Jazz Scholars and the Ravinia Steans Music Institute, the former of which brought him into contact with mentors Bobby Broom, Tito Carillo, and Willie Pickens. Mr. Hill’s musical education further expanded by attending Northern Illinois University, from which he graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. While still an undergraduate, Mr. Hill began to be regarded as one of the most in demand trumpeters in Chicago.
Upon finalizing his formal education with a Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy from DePaul University, Marquis Hill began working more frequently both as a sideman and a leader of his own ensemble, the Blacktet, throughout the region; appearing at festivals, clubs, and theaters with increasing frequency. His musical prowess began to garner more recognition after winning such competitions as the International Trumpet Guild jazz competition (2012) and most recently the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition (2014), widely regarded as the most prestigious in its field.
In addition to performance, Mr. Hill has been an active educator. He has held teaching positions at numerous institutions including the Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin; The NIU Summer Jazz Camp; The University of Illinois at Chicago where he was a faculty member for two years. He currently resides in Chicago Illinois and has four albums to his credit: New Gospel (Skiptone 2011), Sounds of the City (Skiptone 2012), The Poet (Skiptone 2013), and Modern Flows vol. 1 (Skiptone 2014).
“I hope to winsomely present my own late-modern spin on Jazz standards, capturing the essence of this rich oral tradition but with a post-modern and authentically African approach. I’d produce a real ‘standards record’ but, freshly, with the already-¬established “Blacktet” sound.” – Marquis Hill