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Marcus Roberts Named Distinguished Visiting Professor at Bard

The pianist and composer will teach a series of master classes in fall 2020 and spring 2021

Marcus Roberts
Marcus Roberts (photo: John Douglas)

Bard College has appointed pianist and composer Marcus Roberts as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Music for the 2020–21 academic year.

Perhaps best known for his stint in Wynton Marsalis’ groups of the 1980s and ’90s, Roberts is a multiple award-winning pianist and composer in his own right. Blind since the age of five, he developed a virtuosic ability on the piano as well as a unique mode of communication with his ensembles, including the Modern Jazz Generation big band and the Marcus Roberts Trio with bassist Rodney Jordan and drummer Jason Marsalis. In addition to compositions for these bands, Roberts has written numerous commissioned works, including two piano concerti.

In addition, Roberts is an accomplished educator who has for many years been a faculty member at Florida State University School of Music, the Jacksonville-raised pianist’s own alma mater.

Bard College, located in the upstate New York village of Annandale-on-Hudson, is a prestigious institution of higher learning with a particularly acclaimed legacy in the arts and music. Alumni from its Conservatory of Music include pianist Ran Blake, vocalist Jeanne Lee, guitarist Elliott Sharp, and Steely Dan co-founders Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.

Roberts will teach a series of master classes to Bard music students this fall and spring.