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Marcos Varela

Musician/composer Marcos Varela began his musical career at the age of 17. He started playing the bass in his native Houston, TX while attending the highly acclaimed High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, a school which has been attended by many greats in music and art today. Some alumni include Jason Moran, Robert Glasper, Beyonce Knowles, Brian-Micheal Cox, Eric Harland, Chris Dave, Matt Mullenweg (wordpress inventor) and many more. Inspired by such talented mentors and peers this led Marcos to want to pursue a career in music.

Marcos quickly gained recognition in the Houston jazz scene and by the age of 18 was one of the top honorees of the NFAA International Jazz award and a IAJE Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Star fellow. In recent years he was invited to participate in the IASJ in Frieburg, Germany, a program featuring top students from jazz programs worldwide led by Dave Liebman and George Gruntz. Later, he was a member of the prestigious Kennedy Centers “Betty Carter Jazz Ahead” Program held in Washington, D. C., and Rivinia-Steans Institute, held in Chicago, Illinois. Both are programs by invitation and take musicians based on high level musical composition and performance skills.

After attending the New School University/Mannes School of Music in NYC on scholarship Marcos quickly became part of the New York and World music scene collaborating and performing with a wide variety of world class musicians and music legends such as Billy Hart, Charli Persip, Martha Wainwright, The Last Poets (Umar Bin Hassan), The Mingus Big Band, Jason Moran, Yosvany Terry, Larry John McNally, Lee Curreri, Bill Lee, Manuel Valera, Brad Leali, George Cables, Billy Harper, Orrin Evans, Bob Mover, Frank Lacy, Mike Moreno, Logan Richardson, Greg Bandy, Winard Harper, Clifton Anderson, Edsel Gomez, Aaron Goldberg, Mark Shim, Phoenix Rivera, Steve Williams, Rudy Royston, Ron Afif, E.J Strickland, David Budway, David Weiss, Lauren Sevian, Bruce Barth, Bruce Cox, Andre Hayward, Tyshawn Sorey, Jacob Sacks, Junior Mance, Wayne Escoffery, Thomas Heberer, Logan Richardson, Dayna Stevens, Helen Sung, Ohad Talmor, Donald Vega, Michael Attias, Antonio Hart, Miles Okazaki, Nir Felder, Sam Barsh, Allan Harris, Robert Glasper, George Colligan, Victor Jones, Kendrick Scott, Lew Tabackin and Geri Allen…Just to name a few.

Marcos is also very accomplished in his compositions for Film and TV. One of his achievements is a film score for acclaimed director Domenica Cameron-Scorsese’s film “Roots in Water,” an adaptation of a piece by Tony Award winning playwright, Richard Nelson. It was an official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival and received a red carpet premiere. “Roots in Water” also appeared at the Chicago Film Festival, Woods Hole Film Festival, Prague Film Festival, Albuquerque Film Festival, among others (www.rootsinwater.com). Marcos’ film credits also include “Greenwich and 11th” directed by John Carlino and Co-Produced by Domenica Cameron-Scorsese. It premiered at the Ft.Lauderdale Film Festival 2010. In addition to his film scoring career some of Marcos’ compositions can be heard on popular American TV shows, Trailers, as well commercials in the U.S and in Canada.

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Read "Interleaved" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

A 47-foot fall that resulted in multiple injuries influenced the music-making of pianist Andrew Moorhead. So do mathematics and computer science, on his debut recording Interleaved. “An Interleaved digital signal is a single woven from multiple threads." This is what Moorhead tells us in his liner notes. The threads of Moorhead's life that come together to create his CD offering are the consequences of that fall, a love of music and his interest in mathematics. This ...

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Marcos Varela: San Ygnacio

Read "San Ygnacio" reviewed by Luigi Sforza

Possente il suono, profonda e incisiva la cavata, decisa e vistosamente virtuosa la tecnica del giovane contrabbassista, compositore, arrangiatore e produttore Marcos Varela che in San Ygnacio mette in mostra le sue spiccate qualità strumentali scegliendo di declinare il suo talento all'interno di una langue esplicitamente post bop. In assoluta coincidenza con il credo estetico del leader, almeno per come esso si manifesta in questo progetto, il giovane musicista di Huston si avvale di notevoli e preziosi musicisti -tra questi ...


I 10 CD nel CD-Player di... Marcos Varela

Read "I 10 CD nel CD-Player di... Marcos Varela" reviewed by Vincenzo Roggero

01. Kenny Barron -Book of Intuition (Impulse -2016). Adoro questo disco e questo trio che ho avuto la fortuna di sentire diverse volte dal vivo. Barron è uno dei miei pianisti preferiti sin da quando da giovane lo ascoltavo nei lavori di Stan Getz, nel suo disco Live at Bradley's e in duo con Charlie Haden in Night and the City. 02. Tony Williams -Believe It (Columbia -1975). Ho ascoltato tantissimo Tony Williams nei dischi ...

Album Review

Marcos Varela: San Ygnacio

Read "San Ygnacio" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Bassist Marcos Varela, Houston-bred and now New York-based, opens his recording debut, San Ygnacio, with a big, brash version of the standard, “I Should Care." His rhythm section is rounded out by veteran pianist George Cables and drum icon Billy Hart, so a free swinging zest is expected, and delivered. Logan Richardson on alto sax makes it a quartet, with tart tone and stretched notes that bring the legendary alto saxophonist Jackie McLean to mind. It's a bold anthem of ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


OA2 Records


Some Hidden Treasure

Innova Recordings


Seven Angels

Outside in Music



Fresh Sound Records


San Ygnacio

Origin Records


World Wind

From: Interleaved
By Marcos Varela


From: Blueprints Figure Two: New...
By Marcos Varela

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