Marcus Shelby


Composer, arranger, band leader, bassist, educator, currently residing in San Francisco. Focuses on the history, present, and future of African American lives, social movements, and music education. Attended Cal Arts under the Charles Mingus Scholarship, studied composition with James Newton and bass with Charlie Haden. Currently, Artist-in-residence with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival and resident artist director for the San Francisco Jazz Festival. Artist in residence at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival and music director of the Freedom Jazz Choir, youth choir, and youth music ensemble. Composer of oratorios and suites including “Harriet Tubman,” “Beyond the Blues: A Prison Oratorio,” “Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” “Black Ball: The Negro Leagues and the Blues,” “Green and Blues,” and a children’s opera “Harriet’s Spirit.” Composed score and performed in Anna Deveare’s Notes from the Field and Joanna Haigood’s Dying While Black and Brown, Margo Hall’s Bebop Baby and Sonny’s Blues, the Oakland Ballet’s Ella, The SF Girls Choir, The Oakland Youth Chorus, and many other productions.