Marion resident, Marcus Monteiro, will be performing at New Bedford JazzFest 2014 on Saturday, June 14 with his quartet, the MonteiroBots. This dynamic young saxophonist began studying his instrument in the fifth grade when his parents found an old saxophone at a yard sale. Although he had expressed a desire to study the piano, 10-year old Marcus was immediately fascinated by the mechanics of his new instrument before he even played a note. Once he did, he was hooked.
Marcus began formal, private study with Dennis Nobrega, who taught him the fundamentals of reading music and saxophone technique. During his junior year in high school, Marcus started lessons with local music icon, the late Rick Britto. He studied with him throughout his years at UMass Dartmouth and posted this tribute to him on his Facebook page when Rick passed away. It said in part, “He was an endless source of inspiration from his work ethic to his selfless devotion to his students. If it was not for him, I would never have been introduced to composition, modern saxophone technique, jazz history, the avant-garde, and most importantly teaching itself.”
At UMass Dartmouth, Marcus also studied with Santi DeBriano, who took him to play at the Panama Jazz Festival in 2006; John Harrison III, who will also be playing at the New Bedford JazzFest; and Royal Hartigan, who introduced him to the music of India and Africa.
Marcus gained performing experience at jam sessions at the Cape Verdean Vets Hall in New Bedford where he met Rick Britto. This inspired him to experiment with jazz and improvisation. His interaction with other students playing there was a turning point for his life-long interest in music. Saxophonist Maceo Parker was one of his first musical influences. Soon Marcus was copying his solos and funkier music which made him deal with syncopation and complex rhythms.