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Marcus Belgrave

Marcus Belgrave is Detroit’s internationally recognized jazz trumpet great.

He came to prominence in the late 50’s, touring and recording with the late great Ray Charles’ Orchestra, at the height of Ray’s hit-making era. Marcus is heard as a trumpet soloist on some of Ray’s most famous “hits”... both albums and singles. He always pays tribute to Ray, who mentored him from the young age of 19. He is the only living member of Ray Charles’ small band horn section. He was also mentored by the Great Clifford Brown. Clifford’s early influence on the young Belgrave can still be heard in his tone. Belgrave then spent the early 60’s spearheading the modern jazz movement in New York working and recording in the bands of such major innovators as Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Max Roach.

Many of these classic recordings (on Atlantic, Columbia and other major labels) have now been re-issued on CD. Belgrave moved to Detroit in the early 1960’s to join Motown Records as staff trumpeter, (playing on most of the Motown hits. Marcus has established himself as Detroit’s foremost jazz musician. He was recently awarded the singular title of the official Jazz Master Laureate for the City of Detroit., as well as a fifty thousand dollar Kresge 2010 Eminent Artist award for his 46 years of service to the young musicians of Detroit. His performances encompass the history of jazz musical styles.... from early New Orleans, to Swing, Bebop and on, to the latest contemporary sounds. Marcus continues to tour and record in the world’s major jazz centers. He was an original member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Marcus has performed the music of Louis Armstrong to ovations with Symphonies across America. He was a featured soloist as part of the Detroit Jazz Master’s concerts with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at Frederick Rose Hall in New York, A concert that included other Detroit Jazz Master’s Yusef Lateef, Ron Carter, Curtis Fuller, Charles McPherson, and his protégé’ Geri Allen.,

Always the teacher, Marcus continues to mentor the “next generation” of jazz musicians. His protégés include the who’s who of young jazz musicians: violinist, Regina Carter, bassist, Robert Hurst, saxophonist, Kenny Garrett, pianist Geri Allen, saxophonist James Carter, guitarist, Ray Parker Jr., drummer Ali Jackson, the list goes on and on. Marcus Belgrave, Jazz Master, Mentor.


Marcus Belgrave is a modernist with a deep love of earlier jazz history, and in recent years he has concentrated on celebrating the more entertaining aspects of the tradition. His Armstrong tribute band has been particularly successful, and in the same manner he has now releasedMarcus Belgrave Presents A Tribute to New Orleans, Ray Charles and the Great Ladies of Song Featuring Joan Bow and Charlie Gabriel (Detroit Jazz Musicians Co-Op, POB 36426, Grosse Point, MI 48236). All the above-mentioned sing, Belgrave demonstrates that his trumpet playing is as majestic as ever, and Gabriel shines on tenor sax and clarinet. They are backed by Bill Meyer (piano), Marion Hayden (bass), Gayelynn McKinney (drums), Cassius Richmond (alto sax), as well as three trombonists: Phil Ranelin, Keith Dewitt, and Steve Hunter. More...
Piotr Michalowski - Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association (SEMJA)

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Marcus Charlie &...

Soul Jazz Records


The Song is You

Moonboat Records



Dreyfus Jazz


Maria / Two Ships...

Not Two Records


Gemini II

Dreyfus Jazz




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