Diamond Steele Jazz Quartet
To Achieve Musical Excellence
The Diamond Steele Jazz Quartet is lead by the musical competence of Marcus A. Allen Sr. Mr. Allen is both a trumpet virtuoso and composer from Detroit. The Diamond Steele Jazz Quartet has been playing professionally throughout the Metro Detroit area for more than three years. Under the compotent leadership of Marcus A. Allen Sr., The Diamond Steele Jazz Quartet has become a very accomplished musical group.
Because of this musical group’s versatility it has the ability to play many different styles and genres of music with great technical ability, but because of this group's collective love for jazz, it has made jazz its musical genre of choice. The Diamond Steele Jazz Quartet wholly believes that playing jazz keeps them closer to their musical roots as well as enables them to become musically proficient and compotent.
• Marcus Anthony Allen Sr. was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 19, 1960. Mr. Allen has been playing the trumpet since his freshman year of high school. He quickly progressed on the trumpet, and after only three short months of studies he found himself performing before large audiences, mostly in the local night clubs throughout the Metro Detroit area.
As a young student, he competed on every level, but because of his fast musical learning pace he quickly gained recognition as being an up and coming soloist. Mr. Allen continued to play professionally for nearly twenty-eight years before forming the Diamond Steele Jazz Quartet. Overall, he has spent a total of thirty-one years entertaining people.
After completing high school Mr. Allen continued performing locally around Detroit with such groups as: The Righteous Players, Ruff as Us, the Dramatics, and Earth’s Nature. In 1979 he won a state talent competition with his horn section; Three The Hard Way. Later that same year they were invited to perform behind groups such as: Brick, the Dazz Band and Michael Jackson in Los Angles, CA.
But because of his desire for greater development in the study of music, and his inability to afford much desired musical lessons, he decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. His desire for musical growth was his single greatest reason for enlisting in the military, where he remained and studied music and traveled all around the world performing for the next twelve years. While in the military Mr. Allen studied jazz and classical harmony, theory and music history at the Army School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia. He excelled in the areas of music composition, arrangement, scoring and voicing so well that he received numerous awards for his musical accomplishments. Mr. Allen is also proficient on both the oboe and piano as well.
On August 29, 1992 he left the military and returned home to further pursue his private studies in music. It was during this period that he received personal tutorage on the trumpet under the guidance of one of Detroit’s most prominent jazz musicians,trumpeter, Marcus Belgrave. Mr. Allen also received numerous informal instructions from saxophone recording artist Larry Smith and the late Dr. Teddy Harris.
He accredits most of his musical achievements and prowess, especially where it pertains to the area of jazz music, to these men along with his countless musical performances with many of Detroit’s brightest and best musicians in jazz. He has performed with people such as; Dwight Adams, Dr. Harold McKinney, Darren McKinney, and recording artist (saxophonist) James Carter. After completing his jazz studies, he began studying classical trumpet under Robert Tinsel. It was here that he decided to turn professional and pursue his own career as a soloist. Today Mr. Allen is the leader of the Diamond Steele Jazz Quartet.
• Marcus Anthony Allen Jr., pianist for Diamond Steele Jazz Quartet, was born in Detroit, Michigan on May 24, 1995 Marcus Jr. has been studying and performing as a jazz pianist for five years. He began his tutorage under the guidance of his father Marcus Sr at the age of eight. This young man’s skills grew by leaps and bounds in just a three year period, and soon he began doing public performances.
At the tender age of eleven, Marcus Jr. has already made several appearances at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, The Music Hall’s Jazz Café and Burt’s Market Place, jazz clubs that are located in Greater Detroit and throughout the Metro Detroit area.
Marcus Jr. continues to make great progress as a jazz pianist, as he performs many different tunes by Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. His dream is to be able to perform at Carnegie Hall. Marcus is also an active member in his school’s orchestra and he is currently studying jazz theory, harmony and composition.
• Marquisha Adrianne Allen is a superb young female bassist for Diamond Steele. At age sixteen she is one of the hottest sought after bassist in the Metro Detroit area. Marquisha was born January 16th 1993 in Detroit, Michigan to the loving parents of Marcus and Vivian Allen. As the first of three siblings, Marquisha has always sought to set herself apart from her peers. Aside from playing Bass for Diamond Steele, she is a full time student at John Glenn High School.
The first sign that Marquisha wanted to play the bass came at age nine, after hearing the superb bass playing of Jaco Pastoria on a music video; she immediately fell in love with the bass that day. The sound of Jaco's bass playing skills moved her so much so that she had her father run out that very day and purchased a bass guitar.
The deep dark sounds of Jaco’s bass seemed to take her away like a storm. Being caught up in this feeling, Marquisha realized that this was her own particular calling in life, even more so than her desire to be a hair stylist.
After just a few months of progress, Marquisha sought to play out in the public’s eye. Since learning to play the bass guitar at the age of nine, Marquisha has used these passing years learning to perform many different styles, while simultaneously performing in her high school band.” Her fast growing talents has made way for her to complete many of her music studies and technique book in record time, and she accomplished all of this while being taught under the careful guidance of her father, Marcus Allen Sr..
She has played in many venues throughout the Greater Detroit area, but none has been more gratifying to her than being able to performances with her father and brother in The Diamond Steele Jazz Quartet. Despite Marquisha’s rigorous performance schedule and holding down her 3.2 grade average in school, Marquisha continued to excel at both her studies and on her bass.
After realizing that she wasn’t being musically challenged with her just her high school’s performances, she took the steps needed to perform with Diamond Steele. Though she continues to perform at her high school she now plays full time with Diamond Steele. She has a tremendous amount of loyalty and dedication. She hopes to one day be able perform all around the world and compose her own songs. If you are ever fortunate enough to hear Marquisha perform on the bass, I believe that you would quickly agree that this young woman is not far from achieving her goals.
• Willie Davis is the drummer for the Diamond Steele Jazz Quartet. This determined young man, who was born in Battle Creek, MI on December 27, 1973, began playing the drums at the tender age of three, and has continued his pursuit of music excellence ever since. Despite the love and nurturing he has received from his parents, Willie now realizes that he is just beginning to realize his dream.
He had always hoped that his mother would have had a chance to see him perform as a premiere recording artist, but because of a sudden illness, Willie’s mother abruptly passed away five years ago, much sooner than he had hoped or even imagined. Yet it has been the love that he has had for his mother that has helped to keep him focused and on track throughout his musical career.
Willie is a proven musician. Most of his musical career has been spent performing before church audiences. He has also performed as a studio musician for Duane McGee, Matt Mason, Anthony Byce and Tony Jackson along with a host of other.
Mr. Davis has displayed exceptional abilities as both a percussionist and drummer over the years, he also has managed to keep himself humble, as he is always quick to give praise to others musical talents and abilities rather than sitting back and gloating and boasting on his own skills.
Mr. Davis’ attitude has caused many in the group to bestow upon him the nickname “Baby Giant!” And despite his great accomplishments and numerous performances, Mr. Davis continues to strive for musical excellence, a phrase which the Diamond Steele Jazz Quartet has willingly and eagerly adopted as their mission statement.
Mr. Davis’ determination and will to succeed is contagious, as it seems to have spread throughout the entire organization, causing everyone involved with the Diamond Steele jazz Quartet to press for musical excellence. His favorite phrase; “Don’t give up, stay the course” is just one of the many philosophical phrases he uses to try to inspire the group to strive for musical excellence.
The Diamond Steele Jazz Quartet hopes to release their second CD this fall, entitled, “Walkonmoon.”