After recently completing a Masters in Music at Newcastle University, John has become a lecturer and all round cool guy about campus. He is a well-known, versatile and fine local musician with a great knowledge of music of all shapes and sizes. His musicianship and outstanding bass playing has found him work playing in many jazz groups. However, he is as much at home with many other genres including soul, hip hop and free jazz. John is a fine composer and improviser and has run projects such as the Improvisers Orchestra of the North (ION) based at the Sage, which displayed an incredible performance at the Gateshead Jazz Festival in 2009. He has also played with jazz legend Roy Williams (trombone), folk star Pete Cooper and he has even been seen on stage supporting The Brand New Heavies.
Johnny started playing piano from an early age and became involved with jazz over 10 years ago. He was brought up in a family steeped in music - his great aunt being classical pianist and BBC accompanist, Viola Tunnard; his grandfather, the composer and keyboard player Thomas Tunnard; and the famous artist John Tunnard (who, besides painting, was a well-known jazz musician in the 1920s!)
During his time in the North East, Johnny played in many jazz groups including his own sextet ‘Orjazzm’ and the ‘Boogaloo Allstars’ – the headlining act for ‘Beatniks Boogaloo’ –a series of concerts held to promote jazz to the younger generation.
Johnny has also had the pleasure of learning with the Professor of Jazz studies at the Guildhall, Pete Churchill. His noted performances to date include performing in the world premier of a Jazz Mass composed by Peter King with the Peter King Quartet and appearances on Absolute Radio (formerly Virgin Radio).
Having been brought up on music from a young age, Marcus trained primarily as a classical clarinettist. However, even back in his school days, Marcus was recognised as a talented singer.
After attending University Marcus worked in Dallas where whilst working in telecommunications spent his evenings singing in the jazz clubs of Deep Ellum with among others the David Geller Quartet. After returning to the UK and 5 years in London, Marcus returned to his birth place, North Yorkshire, and took up singing once more - soon making an impression on the local jazz scene.
In 2009, he founded Frankly Jazz with pianist Johnny Tunnard and began to gain a vast repertoire from Sinatra to Presley. He has become a true improviser with his voice and brings a fresh, natural and innovative take on great jazz tunes new and old.
Read more on Marcus’ Myspace.