Markus Rutz plays trumpet with bluesy, soulful style and a tone that has been called gorgeous. He composes music from his home base in Chicago, Illinois where he also performs with modern jazz groups, Latin jazz bands and pit orchestras for musical theater. Since 2012 Markus has released two recordings featuring original compositions. On each Markus is joined by great Chicago talent: drummerIsaiah Spencer, guitarist Scott Hesse, pianist Dennis Luxion, and saxophonist Chris Madsen. Second Impression the most recent release also features a collaboration with saxophonist Brice Winston from the Terence Blanchard Band. It’s Cooler By the Lake (2012) features the tunes Figure 8 and The Neutral Ground which have become local favorites of musicians in performances at Chicago jazz clubs such as The Jazz Showcase and Andy’s Jazz Club.
Born in the Chicago area, Markus moved with his family to Colorado and then to Marshfield, Wisconsin where his innate musical talent was nurtured and refined by professor Robert Biederwolf at the University of Wisconsin – Marshfield. At age 14 Markus discovered the recording Kind of Blue by Miles Davis and was introduced to small group jazz. Without question, this became a major influence on conception, and Miles an early influence. In time others also become major influences on his present style of playing – Louis Armstrong, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Art Farmer and Lee Morgan.
Markus’ formal education began at the University of Wisconsin – Madison where bassist Richard Davis and trumpet professor John Aleyintegrated lessons in the arts, history, society into the world music and performance. Seeing music in those extended contexts became lifelong valued lessons. It also brought into focus Markus’ true passion — Jazz.
Markus left Wisconsin to follow that passion in New Orleans where he where he lived and studied for almost five years. At the University of New Orleans he learned from professors Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste and Victor Goines. Playing, learning and living alongside of now, long-term friends Brice Winston, Christopher Thomas, Brian Blade, Antoine Drye, David Morgan, Nicholas Payton and Delfeayo Marsalis, Markus embraced the music and culture of the Crescent City, integrating it into his own style.
Markus has since returned to Chicago and made it his hometown. His latest compositions celebrate the Midwest, rural and urban, with its own long and renowned jazz history.