Marcus Shelby brings his amazing band to Stanford Jazz Festival on Sunday, July 28 to share his powerful blues-rooted original music, titled “Variations on a Variant,” and written during the global pandemic. Tickets on sale April 18; earlier for SJW members.
A local jazz treasure and powerhouse

Marcus Shelby Quintet

Sunday, July 28

8:00 p.m.

Dinkelspiel Auditorium

SJW Members: $54 | Child (17 and under) & Student (w/ valid student ID card) $12

Non-members: $62 | Child (17 and under) & Student (w/ valid student ID card) $20

Ticket prices include all fees; what you see is what you pay.

Programs, personnel, venues, and pricing subject to change without notice.


Marcus Shelby, bass
Phil Vieux, alto sax, flute
Mike Olmos, trumpet
Greg Jacobs, piano
Sylvia Cuenca, drums

About the Marcus Shelby Quintet

“As a creator and performer, Shelby is blessed not only with a singular musicality but also with a great sense of history.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Bassist, composer, educator, and advocate Marcus Shelby is always aware of the power and purpose of the music he creates. For him, every project is an opportunity to share the pain and joy of a moment in history. Each composition is a chance for Marcus to learn about life and people, and to share this wisdom and emotion with his audience. He’s created long-form works that address topics such as Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the WWII Port Chicago munitions explosion. Rooted in the blues, even his individual compositions have meaning, in addition to being stunningly beautiful and challenging for his band members — all of whom are the top players in the Bay Area — but also inspiring them to perform at their utmost swinging abilities. 

This program highlights new music from a suite entitled Variations on a Variant, which is Marcus’ response to the social changes and pressures of the pandemic, including the increased displacement and oppression of the most vulnerable in our society, social protests and the destruction of institutional racism, and the pervasive nature of the virus. The suite includes a variety of styles and forms that evoke the diversity of emotions Marcus experienced during the shutdown.

sight & sound