Marcus Roberts

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Marcus Roberts
Marcus Roberts 2010.jpg
Roberts performing at Festival de Jazz de Vitoria in 2010
Background information
Born August 7, 1963
Jacksonville, Florida
Genres Jazz
Instruments Piano

Marcus Roberts (born August 7, 1963, in Jacksonville, Florida) is an American jazz pianist. He achieved success as a stride pianist who celebrates classic standards and jazz traditions. Roberts has also distinguished his solos by accompanying himself with walking basslines. Interpreting Thelonious Monk, he adds creative dissonances to Monk's compositions.[1]


Blind since youth due to glaucoma and cataracts,[2] Roberts attended the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, Florida,[3] alma mater of another distinguished musician, Ray Charles. Roberts began playing piano at an early age and then studied the instrument with pianist Leonidas Lipovetsky while attending Florida State University. In 1985, he got a break when famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis chose him as his new sideman. Roberts became a close friend and disciple of Marsalis, and collaborated with him on many projects during the ensuing years.

With Marsalis' support, and soon after joining him, Roberts began releasing his own records. His albums tend to be homages to past jazz greats. On a piece such as "Nebuchadnezzar",[4]Roberts uses traditional harmonies and chords, then builds an expansive tonal and melodic structure. He is renowned as an interpreter of Monk, Ellington, Morton and Gershwin, among others. Roberts provided the soundtrack to the 1999 film Guinevere.[5]

Roberts serves as Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies in the music program at Florida State University. He is also a Steinway Artist.


As leader[edit]

  • The Truth Is Spoken Here (1988)
  • Deep in the Shed (1989)
  • Alone with Three Giants (1990)
  • Prayer for Peace (1991)
  • As Serenity Approaches (1991)
  • If I Could Be with You (1993)
  • Gershwin for Lovers (1994)
  • Portraits in Blue (1995)
  • Plays Ellington (1995)
  • Time and Circumstance (1996)
  • Blues for the New Millennium (1997)
  • The Joy of Joplin (1998)
  • In Honor of Duke (1999)
  • Cole after Midnight (2001)
  • A Gershwin Night (2003)
  • Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F (2006)
  • New Orleans Meets Harlem, Volume 1 (2009)
  • Celebrating Christmas (2011)
  • Deep in the Shed: A Blues Suite (2012)
  • From Rags to Rhythm (2013)
  • Together Again: Live in Concert (2013)
  • Together Again: In the Studio (2013)

As co-leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Mark Whitfield

  • The Marksman (Warner, 1990)

With Elvin Jones

With Wynton Marsalis

With Others

  • Higher Ground (2005)?


  1. ^ Ronn Wynn, Marcus Roberts biography at Allmusic.
  2. ^ Hinson, Mark (March 27, 2014). "Marcus Roberts is next on '60 Minutes' this Sunday night". Retrieved March 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ Marsalis, Wynton (March 30, 2014). "The Virtuoso: Marcus Roberts". CBS. Retrieved March 30, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Marcus Roberts – Nebuchadnezzar" at Artist Direct.
  5. ^ Marcus Roberts at IMDB.

External links[edit]

Official website