Called by The Oregonian ”…a fine pianist with an ear for avant-garde-leaning melodic sensibilities…” pianist and composer Marcus Reynolds has begun to make his mark on contemporary jazz as a solo pianist, leader of his own groups and as co-leader of the Farnell Newton-Marcus Reynolds Quartet. His high energy live performances are notable for his angular, rhythmic playing and dedication to presenting original music and contemporary, unique treatments of the standard jazz repertoire.
Influenced by modern pianistic figures such as Herbie Hancock, Bud Powell, and Fred Hersch, Marcus is also informed as a composer by European 20th Century classical harmony and the Afro-Caribbean rhythmic tradition. Marcus has opened for jazz giants Betty Carter and Mel Torme in festival settings, and has performed with singers ranging from Michigan vocalist Sunny Wilkinson to cabaret artist Lorna Luft. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University where he majored in Classical Piano Perfomance and Jazz Studies (with Dr. Stephen Zegree), and also studied composition with C. Curtis-Smith and Richard Adams. He often performs in duo with his wife (jazz vocalist Jessica Schultz) at such venues as the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon. In addition to performing, Marcus maintains a private piano teaching studio in West Linn, Oregon where he advocates a healthy, tension free approach to playing the instrument.