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 (1963-08-07) August 7, 1963 (age 52)
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Instruments Piano

Marcus Roberts (born August 7, 1963) is an American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and teacher.

Early life[edit]

Roberts was born in Jacksonville, Florida. Blind since the age of five due to glaucoma and cataracts,[1] he attended the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, Florida,[2] the alma mater of another distinguished musician, Ray Charles. Roberts began teaching himself to play piano at an early age, had his first lesson at age 12, and then studied the instrument with pianist Leonidas Lipovetsky while attending Florida State University.

Playing style[edit]

His piano style, while based on the entire history of jazz, is known to have a "deep soul" character inherited from his mother, a gospel singer, uniting intellect and spirituality in his playing. Roberts is also known for developing a completely new philosophy and style for the jazz trio in which the bass, drums, and piano are all featured equally. While his music is steeped in tradition, the tradition also serves as a springboard for his creation of new sounds, concepts, and ideas that have served as a foundation for his original compositions for solo piano, trio, large ensemble, and piano and orchestra. One of the hallmarks of Roberts' piano style is the complete independence of his right and left hands, which has led many to comment that it sounds like two pianists playing at the same time.


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)
  • Romance, Swing, and the Blues (2014)

As co-leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Mark Whitfield

With Elvin Jones

With Wynton Marsalis

With Others

  • Higher Ground (2005)?


  1. ^ Hinson, Mark (March 27, 2014). "Marcus Roberts is next on '60 Minutes' this Sunday night". Retrieved March 30, 2014. 
  2. ^ Marsalis, Wynton (March 30, 2014). "The Virtuoso: Marcus Roberts". CBS. Retrieved March 30, 2014. 

External links[edit]