In developing his signature sound over the years, Markus drew his influences from a wide range of musical styles including J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy, Keith Jarret, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Pat Matheny, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Sting.
He has released eight albums, featuring his own compositions and arrangements, among them, his two most recent releases, Genesis and Inside Outside. His CD Genesis, an avant-garde jazz collaboration with renowned drummer Matt Marucci, has received raving reviews from jazz critics in the United States while his latest Spiritual Standards project Inside Outside, with Berlin-based saxophonist Jan Von Klewitz, made its debut during a nationally televised performance in Germany on New Year's day, 2005. His second album, The Smile of the Honeycake Horse, with his quartet Septer Bourbon, received wide acclaim from the European press and Downbeat Magazine in the United States and achieved something of a "cult following" in Germany. His Spiritual Standards project, a collection of contemporary jazz improvisations of Johann Sebastian Bach's greatest chorals and masterpieces, was performed at sold out venues in Germany, Poland, Italy and the United States, later moving to the top 20 in the German Jazz charts in 1999.
His fifth album and first solo project, Ultreya, featuring his own piano compositions and improvisational work, is a testament to his resilience in the face of tragedy, following a long battle with cancer. Ultreya, an ancient Spanish cry which loosely translates into "keep going" was introduced to American, German and Italian audiences during his 2003-2004 tour season.
Along with composing and performing, Markus is a professor of music. Among his recent and most proud accomplishments, was the launching of DiverCity Records, a non-profit, college-based record label, which he founded and directed, with the mission of providing "real-world", hands-on record label experience to students from diverse musical backgrounds.
Remaining true to his goal of being a versatile, multi-dimensional artist, Markus has also ventured into the world of musical scoring for television and documentaries in the United States.
He and his wife Cibelle, currently split their time between Europe and Los Angeles, California.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Jesus, Joy of Mans Desiring
2. Jesus, My Joy
3. Now Rejoice Dear Christians, Togehter
4. Air From the Orchester Suite 3 in D Major
5. Oh World Behold My Life
6. The Spirit of the Dancing Rain
7. Now Brothers We Are Rejoiceful
8. Lo, How a Rose Ã¨r Blooming
9. From Heaven Above
10. Rouse Thyself, My Weak Spirit