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New Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra CD captures Egypt's Arab Spring movement

Baker Artist Award winner Todd Marcus portrays Egypt’s Arab Spring movement in new CD and performances

WHO/WHAT: 2014 Baker Artist Award winner Todd Marcus will debut his new CD, Blues for Tahrir, in two shows at An Die Musik on October 31 at 8 and 9:30pm. The Baltimore bass clarinetist and composer has presented his jazz for over 10 years and along the way received accolades including the $25,000 Baker prize, selections as a rising star by national jazz magazine Downbeat in its 2014 and 2013 annual critics poll, and an NPR pick for one of the top 10 albums of 2012.

But his newest album Blues for Tahrir is poised to make his biggest statement to date by setting Egypt’s Arab Spring movement to music in a fusion of jazz with Middle Eastern influences.

“The album revolves around my Blues for Tahrir Suite,” Marcus explains. “It began as just one piece of music when the Arab Spring movement started in Tahrir Square in Cairo in 2011 but as the demonstrations continued over the following years, I kept writing more music in response to the ongoing developments.”

The sections of the suite bear out these diverse moods with titles including Protest, Reflections, Tears on the Square, and Adhan, the Arabic word for the call to prayer that sounds five times a day across loudspeakers at mosques in Islamic countries.

For Marcus, the son of an Egyptian immigrant father, the project stemmed from efforts to connect more deeply with his own heritage. “There wasn’t an Egyptian community around where I was raised,” Marcus shares of his New Jersey childhood, “but as I’ve gotten older, exploring Middle Eastern music has been a way for me to connect with my culture in my work.”

Marcus’s nine-piece jazz orchestra will celebrate the album’s release with performances starting in Baltimore on October 31 at An Die Musik and will be followed over the next three days by concerts in New Jersey, New York, and Washington, DC.

WHEN: Friday, October 31, 2014, 8 & 9:30pm

WHERE: An Die Musik l 409 N. Charles Street l Baltimore, MD 21217 l 410.385.2638 l Tickets at:

ADDITIONAL: artist/ensemble info available at:

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