View from the Side of the Road
A native of Rochester, NY, singer-songwriter-guitarist Stuart Markus now makes Long Island his home. He attended at the Eastman School of Music while in high school, and went on to serve as arranger and director of the a-cappella group Chord-on-Blues while studying at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, Stuart relocated first to Brooklyn, and then out to Malverne, Long Island to hone his skills as a journalist, musician and songwriter. His yearly performance of 'The Ballad of Malverne Mel' - the theme song he wrote for Long Island's official Groundhog's Day celebration - is an event that receives annual radio, and broadcast and cable TV coverage. Listed in Newsday as one of 'Long Island's Best,' Stuart is an active member of the Island Songwriters Showcase, a Huntington-based group of Long Island singer-songwriters that traces it's roots back to the song circles of the late Harry Chapin. A full-time working musician, Stuart has also organized several noted songwriter concerts, including the Malverne Songwriter Festival in 1998, the Thanksgiving Benefit Concert that marked the debut of Huntington's Song Box in 1999, and 'Just Wild About Harry,' a tribute to Harry Chapin by top Long Island songwriters to benefit his two charities, Long Island Cares and World Hunger Year, in 2004. Stuart has shared the stage with many notable singer-songwriters such as Tom Paxton, Oscar Brand, Christine Lavin, Dan Bern, David Buskin, Dar Williams, Ashford & Simpson, David Johansen, and John Hall of the band Orleans. His 1996 CD release, 'Not the Only One Who Feels This Way' garnered college and commercial radio play across the eastern U.S. and his second CD, 'The View from the Side of the Road,' is in limited release and has already received college and folk radio play. Good Times Magazine writes, 'Markus has a gentle, clean voice and his writing shows a good sense of his place in the world. This is an artist that everyone should check out live.' Of his performances, Arien Muzacz of Barnard College wrote '...A talented singer-songwriter and a versatile showman. tuart's songs touched the audience and his personal anecdotes kept them waiting to hear more.' He is also half of the traditional maritime music duo Strike the Bell, where his love of sea chanteys has grown out of his love of sailing. A lifelong small boat sailor, he made his first voyage on a tall ship in OpSail '92 as a trainee on the HMS Rose - a replica of a 1757 British frigate (currently appearing as Russell Crowe's ship in the movie Master & Commander: the Far Side of the World). He returned the following year and subsequently became a student of tall ship history, learning not only the ropes but the way of life during the golden age of sail. Stuart's knowledge of tall ships gives him a rare perspective and an ability to teach about sailing life in addition to singing the songs. He currently volunteers at New York's South Street Seaport Museum. Stuart also has a repertoire of hundreds of cover songs from the 1930s to the present day, which he performs, along with his originals, at private and corporate events, country clubs, coffee houses and restaurants around the New York City and Long Island region.