MMQ The MMQ (mitch marcus quintet) has been a staple on the jazz scene on both coasts for over a decade. Fronted by myself on Tenor Saxophone, co-led by Alto Saxophonist Sylvain Carton, and featuring Mike Abraham (guitar), George Ban-Weiss (bass), and drummers Tomas Fujiwara and Jeff Marrs the group is a well oiled machine. The MMQ has penned over 100 original compositions that stretch the boundaries of jazz music all the while being steeped in its tradition. The rhythm section, in addition to providing an unrelenting propulsion, are very much a part of the structural force behind the compositions, woven through the melodies as much as the saxophones while equally involved are the saxes in the rhythmic foundation that pushes the music forward. Jeff Miles- Guitar, Jesse Simpson-drums, and Peter Brendler/Leon Boykins-bass, Evan Francis-Alto Sax- have been a wonderful addition to the group as of late in its recent East Coast incarnation.
MMQ + 13 This off shoot of the MMQ was originated thanks to a “subito” grant by the American Composers forum. This, and the idea of starting an 18 piece big-band with non-traditional orchestration was very much inspired by IU Professor David Baker.
The Invaders Trio The Invaders Trio is a group featuring Mitch Marcus on piano, Leon Boykins on Bass, and Brian Fishler on Drums. We play all original music, and are a cohesive, dynamic unit, blending composition and improvisation into standard jazz format but with a fresh take that makes for an exciting listen/show.
Molly Tigre Molly Tigre marries the rhythms and melodies of African music-
especially the entrancing styles from Ethiopia and Mali- with a
uniquely progressive and exploratory jazz sound.
Jaan Gaati band Original music influenced by Indian classical Raga music and jazz, and the blending of the two. This group creates ambient sound tapestries, violin and saxophone being the primary melodic voices. The underlying pulse is set by the Tabla playing of Sameer Gupta and is surrounded by drums, upright bass, and acoustic guitar.
Mitch Marcus and Friends This loosely given title is somewhat apropos given the amount of musicians I have collaborated with over the years and focuses on the great american songbook, as well as less standard jazz repertory penned by the greats.
Japonize Elephants (from Zorlock, Land of the Lost) I have been a part of this incredible band for almost 20 years, since my days in Bloomington, Indiana. With cinematic melodies, surf guitar, spy soundtracks, Appalachian fiddling, lush string arrangements, knee-slapping banjo, country ballads, eastern modes, 4-part vocal harmonies, Mariachi flair and a heavy jazz influence, the Japonize Elephants are an inimitable take on the modern American experience. We have a new record that you can get here; Melodie Fantastique
Jam n Jellies A somewhat big departure from the other projects included here, this is a childrens album written by Mitch Marcus. Sylvain Carton, Sarah Marcus, and Mouzhan Yousefi-Carton.
Stanley The musical supergroup “Stanley” shuttles you on a journey through the underwater deep. The vibrant compositions of Mitch Marcus; a greasy stir-fry evocative of electric Miles Davis, Steely Dan and Frank Zappa get thrown on the griddle with top players George Ban-Weiss on bass, Micah McClain on drums, and Mike Abraham on guitar, Henry Hung and Erik Jekabson on trumpet, Steve Adams baritone sax. Mitch’s own watery Fender Rhodes and bold tenor sax playing round out this infectious unit. Skewed but always booty-shakin.
Counterpointe Chamber Ensemble This “21st century classical-type” ensemble was formed to write music for Counterpointe Dance Company. Counterpointe commissioned works for which i wrote for choreographers Sarah Marcus and Erica Hartono. The ensemble, and the pieces range in size and scope from 10 minute short repertory pieces to full length ballet(s).
Also, please check out these other projects that I am proud to be a part of:
The Humdrums We play rock and roll music! This is a new project that is a blast to perform with. We do a variety of rock n roll and rockabilly music from the 50’s. Featuring: “Spud” Dunn, “Spats” Mac, Chris “Buzz Buzz” Hiatt, Mitch “Magic” Marcus, Peanut-Butter Preston, and Johnny Aces. sixty minute man
Donovan From time to time this legendary composer/performer/hit-maker comes to the U.S. and I am delighted to be musical director of his touring band. Check his website for upcoming dates and other info.
Here are a few snippets of video I found our show at the Hamilton Theater in Washington D.C. last fall. Donovan’s classic tunes Sunshine Superman and a montage including Jennifer Juniper, First there is a Mountain, Season of the Witch, and Atlantis
Aaron Freeman This recent collaboration with Aaron Freeman and Dave Dreiwitz from Ween is one that I am very excited about. The first track below is from our show in April at the Tribeca 92nd Y in NYC and the 2nd track is from the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
Heyo This group is a newcomer on the scene, a dynamic trio featuring the compositions and bass playing of Sam Minaie, me on Tenor Saxophone, and drummer Mark Ferber. Our debut record, which recently came out to critical acclaim also includes Alto Saxophonist Peter Epstein.
Aphrodesia This New York and San Francisco-based 11-piece ensemble has won audiences over with an eclectic, unique sound- a blend of rich, female lead vocals and slamming horn-laden polyrhythmic funk that Global Rhythm Magazine called a Pan-African mash-up.
Mood Food Mood Food is a continuously evolving musical experience, pulling inward and stretching outward on a steady course. Mood Food was a mainstay on the SF scene for an 8 year period until 2006. The band still gets together for performances and has recently started posting videos and live shows up online from the groups heyday including shows featuring The Grateful Dead’s Vince Welnick… Stay tuned!
The Get It What does the finest in post-organ pre-synth funk and soul sound like? Well, it sounds like The Get It. Music by Bobby Byrd, Rufus Thomas, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and more. Featuring Alex Castle, Adrian Hartley on vocals, and the slammin’ “Get It” horns.
Bathtub Gin – A Phish Tribute. After years of listening and being a fan, all the while unwittingly internalizing the music of Phish, it’s a real kick to be able to perform all this music with such a terrific group. Led by Jim Swatko-guitar/vocals, and featuring Matt Lasurdo – bass/vocals, Dan Spampinato – drums/vocals, and Mitch Marcus – Keyboards/saxophone/vocals
6 Each 6 Each is a folk/jam band fronted by Seth Blum. The group can be found playing at the Bitter End, Desmonds tavern and other NYC spots. Check the website for more info: