Fresh off the stage after a fantastic concert for pupils from Southampton schools as part of a two-day Turner Sims residency, Marquis Hill talks to our Concert Promotions Intern Lauren Jolliffe.
Marquis and his fantastic ensemble perform at Turner Sims tonight, Tuesday 29 March.
Lauren Jolliffe: Firstly, I just wanted to say your performance for the schools was absolutely great. It was really evident that the children were engaged with what you had to say about Jazz. Is performing for schools something you usually do when touring?
Marquis Hill: It’s definitely a part of it, you know. Most tours we do there’s normally at least one or two situations like this where we go in, sometimes college level, sometimes really smart kids, sometimes middle school. There are normally at least one or two stops where we’re teaching a masterclass to students, or mentoring, having them play for us and we give feedback. So, yeah it is, it’s a part of it.
LJ: That’s great! And you’re from Chicago originally? Tomorrow is your last tour date in Europe, how have you found performing here?
MH: Oh, it’s been great! It’s been great, you know? We used to tour a lot before the shutdown, so it just feels good to be back, to be honest, to be hitting these cities. I played here in Turner Sims in 2019, it’s been a while, so it feels good to just be travelling, being able to connect with people and share this music with people again.
LJ: Is there anything different about touring Europe compared to the US?
MH: Not typically. It depends on the project that we’re touring, and right now we’re touring the latest project New Gospel Revisited so, we’re playing that material.
LJ: That was actually another question I had! New Gospel Revisited is a reworking of your debut album that came out a decade ago, right?
MH: Ten years ago, yeah. I put it together and just kinda put it out myself. To this day that’s some of my favourite music that I’ve ever written so I just wanted to revisit it, but I wanted to revisit it in a live situation. So we recorded the project live at this club in Chicago. The entire project, track one through track seven, it is the exact same order as the original record, but this time it was more continuous and obviously live.
LJ: And of course, the past few years have been strange with COVID and lockdowns. Did that influence your decision to create a live album?
MH: Well, this project actually, I recorded this right before the lockdown. So I had planned to release it late ’19, or early ’20 but then the lockdown happened and I had to put this project kinda on hiatus. But I jumped into another project, used my energy and put it to another project that I did release during the pandemic, and that’s called Soul Sign.
LJ: So you’re performing here again tomorrow. What can our audiences expect from your final tour date in Europe?
MH: First, a beautiful show, a great show. This is the last show, we’ve played sixteen shows, and now this final show is just gonna be all of the energy kinda culminated up into this final performance. You’ll hear raw energy, and kinda this eagerness and anxiousness to actually get home a little bit. You’ll hear that happiness in the music, you know. So yeah, it’ll be a fun concert.
Book your tickets here to enjoy Marquis Hill live at Turner Sims, Tuesday 29 March