At the beginning of his career, he was considered as one of Chicago’s most thrilling young trumpeters. Today, his current status as an internationally renowned musician, composer and bandleader, he has worked tirelessly to break down the barriers that divide musical genres. Contemporary and classic jazz, hip-hop, R&B, Chicago house, neo-soul—to Hill, they’re all essential elements of the profound African-American creative heritage he’s a part of. “It all comes from the same tree,” he says. “They simply blossomed from different branches.”
That mission to bring styles together, complemented by Hill’s absolute mastery of his instrument, is a through line connecting his many achievements. It can be heard on his latest album, Modern Flows Vol. II, with its seamless blend of jazz interplay, hip-hop-infused rhythms and socially conscious spoken-word. It’s integral to The Way We Play, his Concord Jazz debut from 2016, where Hill and his musicians reinvent jazz standards using their generation’s wide- ranging influences. It marks the four records Hill self-released before November of 2014, when he won the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz competition and became a presence on the global scene virtually overnight. And it defines the revelatory live dates by Hill’s longtime working group, the ‘Blacktet’, which the Chicago Tribune called “a remarkably polished, immensely attractive ensemble.”
Throughout his journey, he has supported and guested with a who’s who of jazz that includes Marcus Miller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Boney James, Kurt Elling, Joe Lovano and his regular collaborator Makaya McCraven. Nowadays, Hill maintains a nonstop touring schedule with the ‘Blacktet’.
MARQUIS HILL BLACKTET
Marquis Hill: Trumpet
Patrick Bartley: Alto Sax
Micheal King: Piano and keyboards
Jeremiah Hunt: Bass