BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A musician critics call the most inventive bass clarinetist working in jazz today lives right here in Baltimore.
Todd Marcus travels the world and is known around the jazz world for his playing and composing, but for more than two decades, he’s made his home in Sandtown-Winchester where he’s also an activist and organizer helping transform his neighborhood.
“Folks that don’t live here don’t understand the strong sense of community, the history, the legacy we have in our neighborhood,” Marcus said.
Marcus was a college freshman when he volunteered in Sandtown-Winchester one summer, the same summer he began exploring the bass clarinet.
More than two decades later, he composes for and plays with duo, trio, quartet, quintet and jazz orchestras.
Marcus is also executive director of the non-profit Intersection of Change. He, Elder Harris and Amelia Harris have built Martha’s Place, housing women in recovery.
Across the street, they run an art center that holds classes in visual, graphic art and dance.
Dozens of murals decorate the walls, vacant lots are now gardens and everywhere you look at Pennsylvania and Pressman is the works of Intersection of Change.
“It’s about being a servant to the neighborhood,” Marcus said.