Mitch Marcus Quintet
Mitch Marcus, tenor saxophone, piano, composer.
Mitch Marcus founded the Mitch Marcus Quintet in 1999. From post-apocalyptic jazz to scintillating trance hypnotism,
the Mitch Marcus Quintet delivers a unique brand of original music, taking you through a labyrinth of ever-shifting
Mitch moved to the Bay area after receiving a BM in Jazz Studies at Indiana University, where he studied with
David Baker. Mitch's talent as a multi-instrumentalist and versatility as a musician can be seen in the numerous
small groups and larger ensembles he performs with. Mitch is a core member of "Mood Food" (electric jazz/groove),
"The Japonize Elephants" (klezmer/bluegrass, gypsy swing), "Mega-Mousse" (Jazz/Eastern European, and more),
the Vince Wallace quartet (bebop), and rock icon Donovan.
His big band, Mitch Marcus Quintet + 13 features many of the best players in the Bay area.
His musical associates include Grachan Moncur III, Ches Smith, Darren Johnston,
John Schott, Sameer Gupta, Erik Jekabson, and Graham Connah.
"The Mitch Marcus Quintet plays 21st century jazz: adventurous music that
swings with all the muscularity and verve of pioneers like Mingus, Monk, and
Rollins, but pays tribute to that glorious past by daring to advance the sweet
science of collective improvisation into the future." -- Steve Silberman, contributing editor - Wired Magazine.
"Mitch Marcus is one of those freak genius types. A virtuosic saxophonist and dynamic composer, he has a
wide-open ear, a deep respect for jazz tradition, and a fearless creative spirit." -- East Bay Express, Sam Prestianni
He has appeared at Chez Hanny twice previously with his Quintet as well as with the Aaron Germain / Dan Zemelman Quartet.
Sylvain Carton has been playing saxophone for over 17 years, and playing with and
composing for the Mitch Marcus Quintet for over 10 years.
Carton's compositions for the
Plus Thirteen Big Band won a "Subito" grant from the American Composer's Forum in 2004. He is the primary composer
for the Japonize Elephants, an eclectic
circus-gypsy-bluegrass-klezmer-jazz ensemble of seven to twelve musicians playing vibes, violin, bass, guitar,
banjo, accordion, junk percussion, trumpet, and saxophones. For the group Amaldecor, he composes and
arranges French swing and Eastern European tunes. He has also composed solos for tuba and clarinet, and
the soundtrack for a short independent film.
He has a BM in Jazz Performance from the Indiana University School of Music.
This is his second appearance at Chez Hanny with this group.
Guitarist Mike Abraham was raised in the suburban wastelands of post-industrial Pittsburgh, PA.
After several failed ventures involving WD-40, bic lighters and transformers, he became interested in organizing
chunks of sound on the electric guitar as a result of listening to rock music during his early morning paper route.
Later he was seduced by the forward-leaning jazz of Miles, Coltrane, Ornette and Mingus.
Abraham has become a valuable session player in the Bay Area, performing and touring with the Mitch Marcus Quintet,
Spaceblaster, Aphrodesia, Mads Tolling, Alan Ferber Nonet, Stanley, Low-Volume Restaurant Situation, Random Combinations and Derivations
Thereof, and 60's rock-icon Donovan.
George Ban-Weiss is a PhD student of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley by day, and a professional upright and
electric bass player by night. He performs with Shotgun Wedding Hiphop Symphony, Telepathy, Low End Theory,
The Yancie Taylor Quartet, The Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (Jazz at Pearl's Bigband), Realistic Orchestra
(voted "Best Bay Area Jazz Group," SF Weekly, 2005), Ben Stolorow Trio, and Mitch Marcus Bigband, among others.
George has played at many high profile venues such as Yoshis, The Warfield Theatre, Great American Music Hall,
The Palace of Fine Arts, Brunos, and Pearls on the West Coast, as well as the 55 Bar in New York City.
Drummer Ches Smith composes for Theory of Ruin, the Mitch Marcus Quintet, and the
Graham Connah group. He has toured nationally and internationally with Mr.
Bungle, Ben Goldberg, Carla Bozulich, and Mike Park. As of January 2009, he is touring Europe with his solo percussion
show Congs For Brums.
He has recorded with the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio, Tom Waits, Xiu Xiu, Ben Goldberg, Secret Chiefs 3,
Will Bernard, Todd Sickafoose and Theory of Ruin.
He has performed in concert under the direction of John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, and Pauline Oliveros.
He also performs with Trevor Dunn, Annie Gosfield, Nels Cline, John Schott, Hal Stein, Jim Campilongo, Marc Ribot,
and the Rova Saxophone Quartet.
Ches appeared previously at Chez Hanny with the Mitch Marcus Quintet.