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, Josie James 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.
Dedicated to introducing the music of Billy Strayhorn to newer audiences, Martinez will begin 2022 with a recorded tribute to Strayhorn at the Colburn School for his Amplify Series residency in March. In collaboration with Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc, Marlonius Jazz Orchestra will perform recently discovered compositions, and unveil largely forgotten gems by the unsung pioneer and giant of modern jazz.
THE BAND LEADER
Hailing from Los Angeles, Marlon Martinez is a young virtuoso bassist and composer emerging at the center of the resurgent LA and NYC jazz scenes. 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.
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.