Basic Background info

Birth: Unknown
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Band: The Yellowjackets
Genres: Jazz
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


A native of American jazz hotspot St. Louis, Missouri, music spoke to Marcus Baylor from a young age onward. After listening to his cousin play the drums in church every Sunday, Marcus Baylor began making a habit of misappropriating his motherís cookware and living room furniture for drumming practice. Marcus Baylor quickly took over the drum seat at his fatherís church and played every variety of churchm related function.

A friend formally introduced Marcus Baylor to jazz in junior high school with a Yellowjackets record. Marcus Baylor immediately noticed similarities between jazz and gospel music. Marcus Baylor joined the high school jazz band and started listening to Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Art Blakey. Marcus won the Southern Illinois University high school big band competition, and his jazz band won the title of All District Jazz Band.

After graduating from high school, Marcus Baylor went on to earn a bachelor's degree from the Mannes School of Music in New York City on a four year scholarship. Marcus Baylor studied traditional music under Lewis Nash, Chico Hamilton, Michael Carvin, and Buster Williams. Being in New York City also afforded Marcus Baylor opportunities to listen to and play with great jazz musicians. After playing many local gigs, Marcus recorded his first album with Cassandra Wilson. Marcus said, "Playing with Cassandra, I learned to hear and play different textures, or 'colors' as she called it, and explore different dynamics." Marcus toured with Cassandra and was often joined by other artists like George Benson, Dave Holland, Regina Carter, and Olu Dara. 

Following his time with Cassandra, Marcus Baylor experienced 'a dream come true' while working with Kenny Garrett. Kenny mentored Marcus Baylor in the history and execution of rhythm, phrasing, and sound rooted within music. While touring with Kenny, Marcus Baylor performed with Chick Corea and Freddie Hubbard.

In 2000, Marcus Baylor joined the Yellowjackets, the very band that first introduced him to his beloved jazz as a young man. The Yellowjackets are one of the longest running contemporary jazz bands playing today. Their sound, while steeped in traditional jazz, flirts with fusion. Marcus Baylor recalled, 'The Yellowjackets allow me the creative space to lend my own personality to the music. It's been a blessing and a dream come true to play with a group that I've listened to for so many years.' 

Marcus Baylor has also played with John Scofield, Joshua Redman, Greg Osby, Cyrus Chestnut, Stefon Harris, Junior Mance, Nicholas Payton, Lamont Johnson, and Russell Gunn.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1998 242 E. 3rd LaMont Johnson
1999 Hollis Avenue Antonio Ciacca
1999 Traveling Miles Cassandra Wilson
2002 Happy People Kenny Garrett
2002 Mint Jam The Yellowjackets
2003 Heads Up Sampler Various Artists
2003 Peace Round: A Christmas Celebration The Yellowjackets
2003 Time Squared The Yellowjackets
2004 All About Time James Weidman
2004 In This Present Moment Matthew Von Doran
2005 Altered State The Yellowjackets
2005 Christmas Fantasy Anita Baker
2005 Traveling Miles Cassandra Wilson
2006 Old School New Lessons Bob Mintzer Big Band
2006 Telarc SACD Sampler: Sound and Vision Various Artists
2006 Twenty Five The Yellowjackets
2007 XM Watercolors - Silver Various Artists
2008 Lifecycle The Yellowjackets


  • “Playing at church was the greatest start I could ever have because I constantly played, and it served as a platform to develop a sound.” -Marcus Baylor

Instruments of choice



Drums: Yamaha
Cymbals: Sabian
Hardware: Yamaha
Heads: Remo
Sticks: Pro-Mark

Pics & Clips