is a critically acclaimed multi facetted improviser, pianist and recording artist and has played and worked with: Joe La Barbera, Bob Magnusson, Peter Weniger, Kenny Wheeler, Normah Winston, Marshall Hawkins, Andrea Tofanelli, Paul Kreibich, Cecil Payne, John Tchicai, Bob Mintzer, Jan von Klewitz, Chris Walden,Michael Schiefel, Jim Linahon, Bill Yeager, Mat Marucci, Mitch Holder to name a few! He played Jazz Festival throughout Europe, Africa and the US.
He began studying piano at age six and later earned his Masters in Performing Arts from the Essen Folkwang School in Germany, a B.A. in Piano and Composition from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands and a Certification in Popular Music from the University of Hamburg, Germany.
He studied with Peter Schmalfuss, Georg Ruby, Simon Nabatov, Peter Walter, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler and Kenny Werner.
He won several youth competitions as jazz pianist in his native Germany and was a finalist at the prestigious Martial Solal piano competition in Paris and the jazz composers composition contest in Monaco.
In developing his timeless signature sound over the years, Markus drew his influences from a wide range of musical styles including J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy, Keith Jarrett, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Sting.
He has released twelve albums, featuring his own compositions and arrangements, among them, his two most recent releases, “Quarta” with Jan von Klewitz (televised during a national holiday in Germany) and “NAJA” by the North Atlantic Jazz Alliance.
His composition “Song for Sasha” won the 2nd price at the JPF Awards 2009 and made it to the ballots of the 2009 Grammys.
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 Tertia, 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 a “cult following” in Germany.
His Spiritual Standards project, a collection of contemporary jazz improvisations of Johann Sebastian Bach’s greatest chorales and masterpieces, was performed at sold out venues in Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Italy and the United States, later moving to the top 20 in the German Jazz charts in 1999 and is still in high demand for live concerts around the globe.
His solo project, Ultreya released2001, featuring his own piano compositions and improvisational work.
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.
Currently two albums are scheduled for release. His new Trio album with renowned bassist Bob Magnusson and drummer Joe LaBarbera and his collaboration with vocalist Sherry Williams have been recorded and will be released in 2011.
Along with composing and performing, is a visionary leader in his field merging the core values of traditional music with the technological possibilities of the 21st century.