Official page for the Los Angeles big band
Our culture needs the resurgence of American big band jazz. Big bands are a symbol of democracy, with freedom of expression and collaboration as the centerpiece, and they must be spearheaded by the fresh faces of jazz today.
- MARLON MARTINEZ
Bassist, Composer and Music Director, MJO
Marlon Martinez’s Marlonius Jazz Orchestra propels the 20th century big band tradition through 21st century culture. Marlonius Jazz Orchestra highlights current artists in jazz and commercial music by performing new compositions by Martinez, and revitalizing the music of jazz legend Billy Strayhorn.
Right from its maiden voyage in 2016, Marlonius Jazz Orchestra has sold out concerts across the Greater Los Angeles Area, featuring guest artists such as Mike Garson, Bernard Fowler, Frieda Lee, Josie James, Valerie Geason and Barbara Morrison. Marlonius Jazz Orchestra is becoming an attractive force in the Los Angeles music scene and beyond.
A staple of Marlonius Jazz Orchestra is Martinez’s effort to showcase millennials who enhance today's popular music. Each band member has collaborated with a diverse list of artists ranging from Herbie Hancock to Kanye West. For an in-depth list of artists associated with the band members, click here.
Introducing the music of Billy Strayhorn to newer audiences, Martinez recorded a tribute to Strayhorn at Colburn School for his Amplify Series residency in 2022. In collaboration with Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc, Marlonius Jazz Orchestra performed recently discovered compositions, and unveiled largely forgotten gems by the unsung pioneer and giant of modern jazz. The album, Marlonius | Strayhorn, will be released in January 2023, with a single "All Day Long" coming out in December 2022.
THE BAND LEADER
Hailing from Los Angeles, Marlon Martinez is a young virtuoso bassist and composer emerging at the center of the resurgent LA jazz scene. Marlon has demonstrated his virtuosity while touring with a wide range of artists, including Stewart Copeland, Quatuor Ebène, and Mike Garson. Discovered by Stanley Clarke, he has impressed legends such as George Duke, Burt Bacharach, Ellis Marsalis and Ron Carter. Classically trained and a graduate of the Colburn Conservatory of Music, Marlon has performed with Gustavo Dudamel, Valery Gergiev, the San Diego Symphony and more.
Marlon’s sense of composition, increasing awareness about ensemble sound and feel as a player are in part what he brings to the group setting. He is also developing into an inventive soloist.
Marlonius Jazz Orchestra
"Stupid" - the Mint LA - Marlonius Jazz Orchestra
Why Billy Strayhorn's Arrangements Sound So Unique
Billy Strayhorn - "Cashmere Cutie" - Marlonius Jazz Orchestra
Audrey the Dancer (Excerpts) - Marlonius Jazz Orchestra
I can’t believe our good fortune in getting on the ground floor with you. So proud to see you leading that big band with confidence and aplomb. Every now and then when you take a solo it’s easy to see why all those slick players show up for you. A very rare gift you have.