Two of Detroit’s finest young jazz musicians, pianist Michael Malis and saxophonist Marcus Elliot, will inaugurate the Chamber Music Society of Detroit’s JazzWorks series on Friday, May 4, 8:00 PM at Schaver Music Recital Hall in Midtown Detroit.
JazzWorks explores new musical work by accomplished Detroit jazz artists in a concert setting. Michael Malis and Marcus Elliot, collectively known as “Balance,” will perform new works for piano and saxophone; in addition, each of them will present a new composition with his own trio.
Michael Malis teams up with Nicole Patrick on vibes and percussion and Rafael Statin on soprano saxophone, bass clarinet and bass flute to perform “Numerology,” a blend of composed and improvised music with roots in both contemporary classical music and jazz.
Then Marcus Elliot’s ensemble, a trio of improvisors called ME3, takes the stage with Brian Juarez on bass, Kayvon Gordon on drums and Marcus on saxophones. Marcus’s music too draws from both African-American and classical traditions.
Tickets for this concert are $30 ($15 for students) and are available by phone at 313-335-3300 or online at www.CMSDetroit.org. $5 student rush tickets are also available at the box office only, beginning fifteen minutes before concert start time. Schaver Music Recital Hall is located at 480 W. Hancock, between Cass and Second Avenues in Detroit.
About the Artists
Michael Malis grew up in Grosse Pointe, studied with legendary Detroit jazz pianist Bess Bonnier in high school, began working with trumpeter Marcus Belgrave as a teenager and eventually studied with one of Belgrave’s most important proteges, pianist Geri Allen at the University of Michigan. A versatile musician fluent in musical styles across the spectrum, Malis is equally accomplished as a composer and performer. As a pianist, Malis has shared the stage with a diverse array of musicians and has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Detroit Jazz Festival, The Stone (NYC), and the Detroit Institute of Arts, among other venues. As a leader, he has toured with his trio across the Midwest, East Coast and Canada, appearing in New York, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Baltimore and Cleveland, among other cities.
As a composer, he has worked in interdisciplinary settings, collaborating with visual artists, scoring films and writing music for the theater. He was awarded Best Musical Score in the 2011 Lightworks Film Festival for his score to the short film “Slash/Fiction” and has gone on to score three more films. In 2015 he released his debut recording, “Lifted from the No of all Nothing” to critical acclaim, with the Detroit Free press calling it “an uncommonly mature and distinctive debut.”
Also from Detroit, Marcus Elliot is a saxophonist, composer and educator who is quickly gaining recognition for his thoughtful and imaginative improvisations. He studied at Michigan State University with Wes Anderson, Diego Rivera and Rodney Whitaker. After graduating, Marcus began touring in the U.S. as well as abroad in Canada, Africa, the Middle East and Indonesia. He has led a quartet (which includes Michael Malis on piano) for eight years and has appeared regularly at Cliff Bell’s. He has self-released two albums of original material, “Looking Forward” (in 2010) and “When the City Meets the Sky” (2015). As an educator, he served as the director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Jazz Band when he was in his early 20’s, and currently is Artist-in-Residence at Troy High School.