April 4, 2011


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Marcus Shelby (born 1966 in Memphis TN) is an African-American bassist, composer and bandleader based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His lengthy professional résumé encompasses recordings, theatrical/film scores, music education, and assorted grants and commissions.

He also is the prime mover behind an ambitious project he calls Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The bassist has a personal connection to the subject of this inspirational work: Several members of the extended Shelby family participated (and were arrested) in the “ I Am A Man” march by Memphis’ Black sanitation workers that would mark the final campaign of Dr. King’s life in the week leading up to his assassination on this day in 1968.

This clip features the Marcus Shelby Orchestra with lead vocal by Faye Carol on a stirring big-band arrangement of the Curtis Mayfield classic “We’re A Winner.” (This is the correct song title, not to be confused with another Mayfield/Impressions hit “Move On Up.”) Additional performances from Soul of the Movement may be viewed at http://www.marcusshelby.com/video.htm.

“I’ve got two daughters and I wanted them to keep the story going. Getting it from my ancestors and passing it on…Storytelling is an African tradition and African-American tradition. I feel blessed I had the opportunity to do my part.” Marcus Shelby