A fixture on Long Island's folk and acoustic scene since the mid-1990s, Stuart Markus has been writing songs since middle school and has played professionally for over 18 years.
Listed in Newsday as one of "Long Island's Best" and sometimes called the Island's "hardest-working man in folk music," Stuart actually grew up in Rochester, NY, where he studied at the Eastman School of Music while in high school. While at the University of Pennsylvania he played French horn in the marching band and wind ensemble, sang in the University Choir and several a-cappella groups, and eventually became president, musical director and arranger (all at the same time) of the nine-voice Chord-On-Blues.
His classical training notwithstanding, Stuart found himself gravitating towards modern folk music out of a love of acoustic guitars and deep, honest songwriting. A full-time musician after years as an ad man and journalist, Stuart has also organized a number of community folk concerts, most notably the annual "Just Wild About Harry" Chapin tribute concerts by top Long Island songwriters since 2004. (To date the concerts have raised nearly three tons of food.) From 1996-2009 his yearly performance of "The Ballad of Malverne Mel" - the theme song he wrote for Nassau County's official Groundhog's Day celebration - received widespread media coverage. He currently serves on the board of the Folk Music Society of Huntington, the Island's premier folk music organization, where he chairs the community outreach committee, bringing the many local folk scenes into contact and cooperation.
Stuart is perhaps best known outside of Long Island as a member of the folk-rock harmony trio Gathering Time, along with fellow Long Islanders Glen Roethel and Hillary Foxsong. The three linked up almost by accident in 2006, and were named "Best of Long Island" in 2011 by the Long Island Press; they've been touring the eastern U.S. Since 2008. Described alternately as a rocked-up Peter, Paul & Mary or a co-ed Crosby, Stills & Nash, the trio has been turning heads with their stunning vocal blend, strong songwriting, and creative yet faithful interpretations of traditional folk, '60s classics and songs by other local songwriters.
A lover of history and all things maritime, Stuart is also half of the sea chantey duo Strike the Bell with singer-songstress Judith Zweiman. 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 (which appeared as Russell Crowe's ship in the movie Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World).
Stuart has shared the stage with such notable performers as Tom Paxton, Oscar Brand, Christine Lavin, Dan Bern, David Buskin, Dar Williams, Ashford & Simpson, David Johansen, Tom Chapin and John Hall of the band Orleans; and shared a mic with both Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey. He has been a three-time M.C. of the Nassau Community College Folk Fest; twice solo, once with Strike the Bell. His 1996 CD release, Not the Only One Who Feels This Way, and his second, The View from the Side of the Road, have received college and folk radio play across the eastern U.S. A CD of parodies and satire, Welcome to Sunny Nassau (County, Long Island) debuted in November, '07. With Gathering Time, he has released Songs of Hope and Freedom (2008) and Red Apples & Gold (2012).
Stuart also has a repertoire of hundreds of popular songs from the 1940s to the present day, which he performs regularly, along with his originals, at private parties, catered events.
"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," Good Times Magazine writes. "... a true troubadour," says Long Island Entertainment. "Bottom line, Stuart Markus is an artist that has continued to work his craft and he's entering a new level of songwriting and performing that should have people flocking to record stores to grab his wares."
Stuart has been heard on the following radio & TV stations and podcasts: CJLX, KBCS, KPSU, KRFC, KUMD, WBAB, WBNY, WCVE, WETA, WFCR, WFDU, WFMT, WFUV, WJFF, WKJY, WLIR, WNMC, WPRB, WRFG, WRUR, WTJU, WUSB, WVBR, WYEP, WFMU, WTMD, WMIR, WMVY, WDST, 101.5FM (N. Ireland), TV-55, LI News 12, Six-String Island, the Indie Connection, and the SportNet cable network.
Contact Stuart Markus at (516) 593-1427 or or (516) 661-7161, or him at StuartJMarkus@aol.com.