One weekend in Georgia, North Carolina and Florida
4/28 at the Velvet Note in Alpharetta, GA
4/29 at the Art of the Cool Festival in Durham, NC
4/30 at The Art Garage in Delray Beach, FL
Steeped in the heart and soul of jazz, Marcus and Jean Baylor’s highly anticipated collaboration showcases the grace and glory, versatility and virtuosity of a truly extraordinary musical union. Joining Marcus and Jean on their self-produced debut is an expansive assemblage of top-notch collaborators including pianists Allyn Johnson and Shedrick Mitchell, guitarists Rayfield “Ray Ray” Holloman and Marvin Sewell, bassists Dezron Douglas, Chris Smith, David “DJ” Ginyard and Corcoran Holt, percussionists Pablo Batista and Aaron Draper, tenor saxophonists Keith Loftis and Bob Mintzer, trumpeters Freddie Hendrix and Keyon Harrold, trombonist Stafford Hunter and harpist Brandee Younger.
As the children of Pastors, Marcus and Jean’s musical roots were planted deep within the church, and it was there that the road was paved for the influence of gospel, blues, soul, and jazz to make it’s mark. On ”The Journey”, listeners are taken on a comprehensive musical journey that showcases as much versatility as it does virtuosity. A world-class drummer, Marcus’ creativity and innovative storytelling ability expose his seasoned improvisation and musicianship. Jean, with her agile mezzo-soprano range, combines a fresh, whimsical, approach to phrasing with clever musicality resulting in soul-hugging vocal purity. Released around Valentine’s Day in February, “The Journey” has as much to do with the The Baylor’s 15 years of loving one another as it does with Black History Month. Their first feature recording together embodies the true spirit of love while also paying homage to their musical roots and those of the African American experience.
“The Journey is a true reflection of our childhood, the musical and cultural influence of the African American Church, and all the things that have become a part of our creative fabric from then until now,” says Jean. As co-creators of their label Be A Light, Marcus and Jean served as the sole producers of “The Journey”. “As producers, we were involved in every aspect of the project from inception to completion,” says Marcus, adding, “...from songwriting, arranging and collaborating with great musicians to cultivate the sound we heard in our heads, we loved having the autonomy to create music from the inside out.”
Anchored by their exceptional band, The Baylor Project made their live debut in 2013 at Smoke Jazz Club to critical acclaim. Such a success, they were extended an invitation to remain in residency at Smoke for the coming year. “Performing on a regular basis not only gave us the opportunity to evolve as a band, but to build a buzz and anticipation for The Baylor Project,” says Marcus. The buzz was certainly built; word-of-mouth brought packed houses at the famed Blue Note, Apollo Music Café, and DC’s Blues Alley, leading to performances in premiere jazz festivals across the United States and Europe—a glamorous arrival for two people from humble beginnings. Marcus is a native of Ferguson, MO and Jean, a native of Moorestown, New Jersey. Both grew up in a tradition that imprinted itself upon their craft.