In Bands, Events, Guest Artists, Jazz

Jazz pianist Marcus Roberts will address students and faculty across campus in a BYU Forum on Feb. 25

The School of Music’s premier big band Synthesis will perform with jazz giants Marcus Roberts and Todd Williams as part of the annual BYU Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival.

“There will be a lot of variety and some really phenomenal guest artists,” said Synthesis director Ray Smith. “Todd Williams is a brilliant saxophone player and clarinetist who played with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and Marcus Roberts is recognized as one of the truly great jazz pianists today. During the 2002 Olympics, Marcus came with the Utah Symphony to do ‘Rhapsody in Blue.’ I happened to be playing with the symphony and was sitting right behind him, and his was the most amazing version I’ve ever heard.”

Smith hopes that his students will have a similar experience as they are able to observe Roberts and his trio on stage and learn from him in clinics prior to the performance.  

“He’ll have musical comments to make which will be instructive in our rehearsal, but I think the real inspiration will come from seeing somebody at that caliber play so closely,” said Smith. “And then actually being able to play with him is really priceless.”

Students and faculty across campus will have the chance to hear from Marcus Roberts in a BYU Forum on Feb. 25. The forum will be broadcast on BYUtv.

Visit for tickets and show details.

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