Marcus Belgrave, trumpeter, composer, arranger, educator, recording artist, and producer was born in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1936.† He began playing the trumpet at age six and professionally at age twelve.† Mr. Belgrave describes himself as "born into bebop."† His early inspiration and mentor was Clifford Brown.† At age eighteen, he earned his initial reputation through his extensive collaboration with Ray Charles.† His solo on "Alexander's Ragtime Band" from the Ray Charles album The Genius of Ray Charles put him on the map.† In 1963 he settled in Detroit, becoming one of the prominent recording musicians with Motown Records.† He is heard
on many of the Motown hit recordings including "Dancing in the Street," "The Way You Do the Things You Do," and "My Girl."† His distinguished career as a player has intersected with an unparallel variety of musicians across musical generations including legendary stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, Max Roach, Charles Mingus, Ron Carter, Bud Powell, Tony Bennett, Eric Dolphy, Aretha Franklin, Sammy Davis Jr., Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris, Eddie Jefferson, McCoy Tyner, Wynton Marsalis and Dizzy Gillespie.†
He presently performs world-wide at numerous jazz festivals, premier jazz clubs and concert halls with expertise in both big bands and small ensembles.† As an original member, he has toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra since 1988.† Among his recent recordings is the critically acclaimed Marcus Belgrave with Detroitís Jazz Piano Legacy vol. 1 with Tommy Flanagan and Geri Allen.
Mr. Belgrave is internationally known for his dedication to educational endeavors.† In Detroit, he is founder of the Jazz Development Workshop and cofounder of the Jazz Studies Program at the Detroit Metro Arts Complex.† He was also an original faculty member with the Oakland University Jazz Studies Program.† Beneficiaries of his musical tutelage include pianist Geri Allen, bassist Robert Hurst, saxophonist Kenny Garrett and many others.
Mr. Belgrave previously appeared at Howard University as guest artist on the senior recital of Geri Allen.† Ms. Allen has since earned international renown as a pianist, composer, recording artist, and scholar.† In recognition of his outstanding artistry, vision, and life long achievement in jazz education he is the recipient of numerous honors including the Arts Midwest Jazz Master Award, the Michigan Governors Arts Award, and the Louis Armstrong Award.