One of the finest trumpeters in jazz today, Marquis Hill is also a composer and bandleader whose comprehensive vision highlights the unity and continuity within the musical heritage of African-Americans. On acclaimed albums like his latest, Modern Flows Vol. II, and his 2016 breakout project, The Way We Play, Hill and his working band, the Blacktet, use their next-level musicianship and deeply interactive dynamic to break down the barriers separating bop, hip-hop, R&B and electronic music.
Born in Chicago in 1987 and raised on the city’s South Side, Hill absorbed the jazz tradition both formally—he holds a bachelor’s in music education as well as a master’s in jazz pedagogy—and informally, gaining knowledge from his elders on gigs and at jam sessions. By the time he won the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz competition in the fall of 2014, his reputation for fluid virtuosity was firmly established in the Midwest—as a member of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, an in-demand sideman and a leader with several buzz worthy self-released discs to his credit. Since that watershed victory, Hill has garnered glowing coverage in outlets like the New Yorker, the New York Times, JazzTimes, NPR Music and DownBeat, where he topped the “Rising Star–Trumpet” category in the 2016 Critics Poll. As he’s maintained a nonstop touring schedule with the Blacktet, he’s also supported and guested with a jazz who’s who that includes Marcus Miller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Boney James, Kurt Elling, Joe Lovano and Hill’s trailblazing Chicago peer Makaya McCraven.