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School of Music alum Marquis Hill wins famed competition

October 31, 2014
Marquis Hill

Marquis Hill

UPDATE: Marquis Hill is the winner! Congratulations!

Marquis Hill, a 2009 alumnus of the NIU School of Music, is a semifinalist in the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Competition.

Widely regarded as the most prestigious jazz competition in the world, this year’s competition is strictly for trumpeters.

Hill will join 12 other trumpeters Saturday, Nov. 8, at Schoenberg Hall in Los Angeles for the first round, during which each player has 15 minutes to perform, accompanied by a trio of internationally recognized jazz artists: Reggie Thomas, NIU’s new coordinator of jazz studies on piano; Rodney Whitaker on bass; and Carl Allen on drums.

Three will be chosen to perform in the second round Sunday, Nov. 9, at the Dolby Theater.

Following those three performances, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones and Kevin Spacey will host an all-star gala featuring Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, Chaka Khan, Kenny Burrell, Vinnie Colaiuta and many other big names.

Hill,¬†winner of the 2012 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Trumpet Competition, has been one of Chicago’s most in-demand jazz trumpeters since his undergraduate years at NIU. He has appeared as a sideman on several notable recordings, including four as a leader. He also comes back to NIU each summer to teach at the NIU Jazz Camp, helping to mentor the next generation of Chicagoland jazz artists.