Marcus Shelby

For Marcus Shelby, history breathes music. Over the past decade, the San Francisco bassist/composer has created a series of captivating large-scale works that illuminate the accomplishments, spiritual fortitude and tribulations of African-Americans. In his debut recording for Porto Franco Records, Shelby delivers his most ambitious project yet, Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a glorious tapestry that weaves together his vivid original compositions with his arrangements of classic spirituals as well as a Civil Rights anthem "We Shall Overcome", Charles Mingus' politically charged "Fables of Faubus", and Curtis Mayfield's black pride hit "We Are a Winner". Based on his extensive research into the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, he has crafted a highly personal work that captures the era's charged energy and fierce sense of mission. Wielding his 15-piece jazz orchestra with confidence and precision, Shelby brilliantly showcases some of the Bay Area's most accomplished and expressive musicians, including trumpeters Darren Johnston and Mike Olmos, reed experts Sheldon Brown, Howard Wiley and Gabe Eaton, pianist Adam Shulman, drummer Jeff Marrs and vocalists Faye Carol, Kenny Washington, and Jeannine Anderson.