Meet Marcus Stephens

At home on tenor saxophone while blowing through jazz standards, or creating genre-bending works with the Bay Area’s leading DJs and producers, Marcus Stephens defies genre or category. Equipped with a full sound, fluid lines, and a stompbox of pedals that would make even Nels Cline blush, Stephens returns to SF Offside for the first installment in our Spark Series.biopictrio

Last time we met this versatile player, it was with Secret Sidewalk, an electro-acoustic quintet that mixes sampling and synths with drums and saxophone. This time round, we’re presenting Stephens as a bandleader in a group with a very different sound. Loosely based on the classic organ trios of the 50s and 60s, the Markstep Trio, featuring Eric Garland on drums and Colin Hogan on keyboards, is not your typical jazz trio, traversing multiple musical landscapes, including jazz, rock, soul, funk, and hip hop. These three seasoned collaborators bring a certain versatility and vibrancy to their playing together that is sure to delight.

We caught up with Marcus to ask him a few questions about his music and his upcoming Spark Series show at the Red Poppy. Continue reading

Presenting the Spark Series

After the resounding success of the first ever San Francisco Offside Festival in May, we are working hard on our second annual festival. But you don’t have to wait till Memorial Day weekend to sample the best of the Bay Area’s innovative jazz scene. Coming in March, SF Offside presents three exciting shows at three different locations in the Bay Area, including (for the first time!) an Oakland show.

Thursday March 7, 8-10pm @ Red Poppy Art House

2698 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Eric Garland’s Hodge Podge Ensemble + Marcus Stephens’ Markstep Trio

$10-20 sliding scale

 

Friday March 15, 9-11pm @ Café Royale

800 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Aram Shelton’s Golden Age

Free admission

 

Wednesday March 27, 7:30-9:30pm @ Awaken Café

1429 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

Alex Pinto Trio + Roger Kim’s First Day

$5-20 sliding scale

- Continue reading