Chicago native Marquis Hill was thrust into the spotlight after winning the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition in 2014.
The trumpeter and composer will perform a free concert with special guest Bobby Broom at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25 as part of the WDCB Live Jazz Concert Series and 2016 Lakeside Pavilion Free Outdoor Summer Series at the Lakeside Pavilion of the College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. More information is available at atthemac.org.
Suburban Life reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Hill about his music.
Schelkopf: I know you moved to New York in 2014. Do you get back to the Chicago area much?
Hill: I actually get back quite a bit. Most of my band still lives in Chicago. I'm still teaching lessons and playing in the city. I'm just kind of splitting my time.
Schelkopf: As far as moving to New York in the first place, why did you choose to make the move?
Hill: I just felt it was time. I had been in Chicago my entire life, and I got a lot from the city, but just like any aspect of life, you want to continue to grow. ... So I just wanted to go to a different place and be around different types of musicians and elevate my playing and elevate my writing.
Schelkopf: You won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition in 2014. How do you think that changed your career?
Hill: It definitely changed my career for the better. I think what it did was put my name in different types of circles. ... Being associated with an organization like the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, that's international, so for me to win such a prestigious award allowed my name to be in different circles. I'm getting different opportunities just by simply being associated with them. ... It showed me that working hard pays off.
Schelkopf: Your Modern Flows EP Vol. 1 is a blend of jazz and hip-hop. Why do you think hip-hop and jazz go so well together?
Hill: For me, it really falls under the same umbrella. In high school, I fell in love with hip-hop. At that time, I already found my love for jazz, and I just started to really notice the similarities between them. ... They are very similar when you put them side by side. The way I hear music, they just work so well together.
Schelkopf: You have received wide acclaim for your playing. What do you think you are bringing to the scene?
Hill: I want to make people feel good when they listen to my music. I think my job is to preserve black music, preserve jazz, while at the same time, pushing it forward. ... I want to push this music forward while sustaining it. And in doing that, I want to get my voice out there at the same time and just create something good in this world through music.