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5th Annual Elizabeth City State University Jazz Festival

University Events

April 14 • 7:30PM
The United States Navy Commodores Jazz Band
Burnim Fine Arts Center • Free Military Night Concert

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Jazz is America's music and the Commodores, the Navy's premier jazz ensemble, have been performing the very best of big band jazz for the Navy and the nation for over 40 years. They have appeared on TV shows, played nearly all major jazz festivals and toured across the United States and abroad. This vibrant, dynamic group is constantly striving for musical excellence and the pursuit of new and exciting ways to communicate with their audiences.

US Navy Band Logo

04.15.15 • 7:30PM
Featuring Guest Saxophonist Marcus Anderson
Performances by ECSU Percussion Ensemble, ECSU Jazz Ensemble and Connected

Sponsored by CenturyLink

Burnim Fine Arts Center • Admission: Adults $10/ Free for students w/ID and children under 12
Tickets available at the ECSU University Cashier's Office, 252.335.3207 or At The Door.

Marcus Anderson

Marcus AndersonThe Pop/R&B and Jazz musician's career is fast becoming one to watch. Hailing from South Carolina, Marcus Anderson is currently performing to audiences all over the world as one of Prince's saxophonists in New Power Generation. As part of New Power Generation, Anderson has played and been showcased in such iconic festivals such as the Essence Music Festival, Monteux Jazz Festival and the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival.

"Touring with Prince has been rewarding in so many different ways; I feel as if I'm in grad school, business classes, and etiquette school all wrapped into one. Thank you Paisley University!"

Watching Marcus Anderson perform is akin to no other live experience. The tremendous musicianship Anderson displays in-person is matched only by his energetic, charismatic and passionate showmanship. Heavily influenced by artists such as Michael Jackson, James Brown and PRINCE, Anderson's magnetic stage persona and tremendous enjoyment of performing is undeniable. Anderson makes the stage his musical playground and the stage becomes the setting for where "style meets substance."


New Release - Style Meets Substance

"Music moves me, so I want to move others the same way" says Anderson, who breaks away from his traditional smooth jazz roots to deliver his new, aptly named album, Style Meets Substance. Infused with R&B, pop, rock and funky grooves, Style Meets Substance is the essence of Anderson himself; soulful, versatile and hard to ignore. Showcasing this electric new record on a world-wide tour in 2014, Anderson is guaranteed to captivate his audiences with his on stage energy and raw talent.

Style Meets Substance, the fifth solo release from Marcus Anderson is the epitome of his musical influences. His trademark horn playing and arrangements provide an album of beautiful momentum that pushes the sonic experience into an exquisite listening pleasure. Sensual sax melodies, smooth jazz standards, funky grooves and Latin beats are all combined into one 13 track album. All songs are written, performed, arranged and produced by Anderson, demonstrating his constant reinvention of contemporary jazz traditions. Style Meets Substance also features collaborations with renowned musicians Morris Hayes, Nicholas Cole, and horn players from the New Power Generation.

The first single off the new album, "No Time to Waste", has Anderson reuniting with prolific instrumentalist and composer Nicholas Cole on a beautiful smooth jazz collaboration. Driven by Anderson's swaggering sax, Cole's romantic piano arrangement sparkles through the melody. "No Time to Waste", which peaked on Billboard Smooth Jazz at number 13, is as alluring as the sax man Anderson himself and sure to be a chart success. Fast becoming a Marcus Anderson jazz standard, the sensual ballad "Your Wish Is My Command" oozes sexy tenor sax tones effortlessly weaved through the romantic tune. Leaving you wanting more of his distinctive saxophone crooning, Anderson provides another seductive performance reminding us why he is at the top of his game. Inspired by working with PRINCE, "Paisley Red" is a musical journey through 1980s funk and synthesized dance beats. Anderson demonstrates his talent as both artist and producer in this up-tempo rock jazz fusion integrating heavy guitar, bass and keys. And not one to shy away from the microphone, "All About You" is the crowd pleasing pop anthem of Style Meets Substance. Reminiscent of the funky talk box track "So In Love", from his third solo release NOW, Anderson delivers a vocal performance of heartfelt lyrics immersed within the sounds of his rich and velvety horns.


A son of South Carolina, Anderson was introduced to jazz by his father at a young age, and was always a passionate student of music and the arts. The youngest of seven, Anderson grew up performing and singing in church with his older brothers. Anderson's family recognized his talent as a musical prodigy when he was introduced to the saxophone at age twelve. He later became a member of the All-State High School Jazz Ensemble for South Carolina. After graduation, Anderson studied jazz at North Carolina Central University. There he was a member of the program's world renowned Jazz Ensemble directed by Dr. Ira Wiggins. He studied with Branford Marsalis and Gospel saxophonist Donald Hayes for several years, achieving many accolades along the way. He received the Chancellor's Award three years running, and performed for Hilary Clinton and Jesse Jackson. Anderson was a member of the HBCU All-Star Jazz Ensemble as 1st Tenor Sax for three successive years. Marcus Anderson is a proud member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America and a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

In 2005, Anderson released his debut album My Turn, a stellar contemporary jazz record the young musician put his heart and soul into. Filled with romantic ballads and jazz grooves, My Turn was a sophisticated introduction to what was to come from the up and coming star.

Anderson's breakthrough into contemporary jazz circles came in 2009 as the winner of the Capital Jazz Fest Challenge. Since then, Anderson has had a meteoric rise to success, touring with PRINCE, Sheila E. and Anthony Hamilton. Anderson has been honored to open for and join on stage artists such as Ledisi, Lalah Hathaway, Peter White, Boney James, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, George Duke, Wynton Marsalis, Alex Bugnon, Nnenna Freelon, Jeff Lorber, Bob Baldwin and Jennifer Holiday.

At the age of only 24, 2009 saw the release of his sophomore album From the Heart, the offering that planted Anderson firmly on the contemporary jazz map. The critically acclaimed record earned strong airplay for both "Karsen's Song" and "Sparkle City", written about his hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina. The track "Everything's Clearer" was played regularly on the Cable TV network Music Choice. In 2011, Anderson won the North Carolina Gospel Announcers' Prestige Award for Gospel Jazz Artist of the Year.

In 2011, Anderson released his third record, NOW, which launched him into the jazz stratosphere. The multi-instrumentalist's intent was to challenge and stretch his smooth jazz roots, producing a diverse record that reached across R&B, pop and jazz boundaries; showcasing his exceptional growth as producer, arranger and artist. Following the success of NOW, PRINCE called for Anderson to join him, and Anderson is currently recording and performing as a featured saxophonist and personality for PRINCE's New Power Generation.

2014 is shaping up to be a remarkable time for Marcus Anderson. The accomplished musician will be spending the year on the road performing to loyal fans at numerous performances both as a solo artist and with The Purple One. With the release of Style Meets Substance, Anderson is eager for what is to come as he continues to challenge the status quo of smooth jazz with his smoldering horn, further establishing himself as a successful solo artist. With his enthralling star quality and command of a stage, Anderson is guaranteed to continue to entertain, inspire his fans and create passionate music.

For additional information, please contact Douglas Jackson, (252) 335-3377 or dajackson@ecsu.edu.