UIC jazz instructor vies for international trumpet prize

Jazz instructor Marquis Hill

Marquis Hill competes against 12 other trumpet players from around the world Saturday.


Marquis Hill, teaching associate in UIC’s jazz program, will compete against 12 other trumpeters worldwide in the Thelonius Monk Jazz Competition at UCLA Saturday.

From 15-minute performances by each player, three finalists will be chosen to compete at a gala event at the Dolby Theatre Sunday. The winner will receive a $25,000 scholarship and a recording contract with Concord Music Group. Judges include noted musicians Ambrose Akinmusire, Randy Brecker, Roy Hargrove, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Owens and Arturo Sandoval.

If Hill wins the competition, it won’t be his first international award. In 2012, he won the International Trumpet Guild’s Jazz Improvisation Competition.

“Marquis is building a national reputation as a jazz trumpet artist with a unique voice,” says Andy Baker, director of jazz studies. “Having grown up in Chicago, he connects with our students. He is a great role model artistically, and in terms of how to build a successful performing career as a jazz musician.”

Hill has been playing trumpet since grade school, performing with the South Shore Youth Ensemble and the Ravinia Jazz Scholars, which led to encounters with role models like Willie Pickens and Bobby Broom.

He has recorded four CDs and performed on albums by the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, saxophonist Ernest Dawkins and pianist Willerm Delisfort. He often plays with Dawkins and Delisfort at Chicago venues like the Green Mill in Chicago.

Before teaching at UIC, Hill earned a B.A. in music education from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in jazz pedagogy from DePaul University.


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