top of page

Sat, Sep 18


Merrimans' Playhouse

Markus Rutz Quintet

Markus Rutz Quintet is an ensemble of musicians from Chicago who play together with a cohesive and sympathetic group dynamic performing originals, standards and popular themes.

Registration is Closed
See other events
Markus Rutz Quintet
Markus Rutz Quintet

Time & Location

Sep 18, 2021, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $20 General/$10 Student.

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Philanthropic Services provided by grants from the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust, The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County's ArtsEverywhere initiative, and the Arts Project Support Grant and Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.

Markus Rutz Quintet is an ensemble of musicians from Chicago who play together with a cohesive and sympathetic group dynamic performing originals, standards and popular themes.

Markus Rutz - trumpet & composition

Jarrard Harris - alto saxophone

Bill Cessna - piano

Samuel Peters - bass

Kyle Swan - drums

The band, ready to hit the stage at Merriman’s Playhouse, was formed earlier this year and has core members of trumpeter/composer Markus Rutz, and pianist Adrian Ruiz. Regular members are Jarrard Harris on saxophone and bassist Samuel Peters. The newest to join is collaborative percussionist Kyle Swan.

In May they performed in Chicago and brought a debut of The Rose Rhapsody Suite which is a reimagining and arrangement of themes from Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. Material from this suite is programmed to be included at our South Bend performance. The origin of this suite is a commission by The Rose Theatre Co. from Washington DC. Markus has since be appointed composer-in- residence for the organization.




Markus Rutz:

For over three decades, the musical discoveries continue for Chicago-born jazz composer and trumpeter, Markus Rutz.

For the most recent 13 years, Markus has been a band leader on the Chicago music scene playing with many musicians in the city and with an emphasis on performing original compositions and arrangements. Applying guiding principles learned from mentors and former professors Richard Davis, Ellis Marsalis and Harold Batiste, Markus has assembled groups for recording and performances that feature musicians from Chicago, New York and his early adult years in New Orleans.

The most recent three years have been years of achievement in mid- career activities of performances and recording with local and national honors. In autumn of 2019, my album Blueprints Figure One: Frameworks was released which had tracks that appears on a story from NPR’s Morning Edition. The album was in consideration for a Grammy nomination last year. Also last year in January an album release concert was played for my New York City performance debut. The second volume of music from the project was released in September 2020 as Blueprints Figure Two: New Designs. Album recognition and reviews were accompanied by several radio interviews and global radio features notably in France and Germany.

Figure one received the high honor of a nomination consideration for a Grammy award. Industry reviews from Jazz Weekly, Dusty Groove and Chicago Jazz Magazine also lauded the compositional, performances and band arrangements from the records.

Jarred Harris:

Chicago saxophonist Jarrard Harris has been on the musical scene there for the past 20 years. After graduating the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music he completed his master of Music at DePaul University. He has played with such as artist as Joe Lovano, Malachi Thompson, Nicholas Payton, Etienne Charles, Victor Goines, Antonio Hart, and Eric Reed to name a few. He has served on the music faculties of City Colleges of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, and is currently assistant professor of bands at Purdue University. He has appeared ats a guest artist at many high schools, colleges, universities and at jazz festivals and clubs in the United States and abroad.

Bill Cessna:

In 2009 Bill moved to Chicago to study jazz piano on scholarship for jazz and classical piano at Columbia College Chicago. There he had opportunities to study and perform with people such as; Peter Saxe, Dennis Luxion, Donald Neale, Jeremy Pelt, Barry Harris, Benny Golson, Wycliffe Gordon, Dave Douglas, Christian McBride, Brian Culbertson, and more. After graduating he quickly became part of Chicago’s Jazz and Salsa scenes, while also working as a chorale director, educator and clinician – conducting numerous jazz/improvisation master classes in Chicago, China, Korea, and Singapore.

Since then he has become highly in-demand both as a sideman and bandleader performing in venues and festivals such as The Jazz Showcase, Andy’s Jazz Club, The Green Mill, Winter’s Jazz Club, Merriman’s Playhouse, The Jazz Estate, Cliff Bells, Chicago Theater, Blue Note Beijing, JC Club, Old Town School of Folk Music, Hard Rock Café, House of Blues, Grant Park, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Jazz Festival and more.

Currently Bill leads his own trio throughout the Midwest, and has plans to record and release their first CD in 2019. He moved to Kalamazoo in 2018 with plans to pursue a master’s degree at Western Michigan University.

Bill is a multi-instrumentalist with 8 years experience teaching private piano, voice, and improvisation lessons to students of all ages. His teaching approach focuses on learning songs of all styles to enhance student’s technique, understanding of harmony, and improvisational skills while helping them set goals, develop good practice habits, and build confidence.

Samuel Peters:

Samuel Peters is a jazz bassist and music educator based in Chicago, Illinois. He recently completed his Masters in jazz studies at DePaul University, where he studied with Dennis Carroll. Additionally, he has recorded on four albums, toured internationally with groups including the Roy McGrath Quartet, as well as The Old Style Sextet, and maintains a healthy performance schedule in and around Chicago with groups including: the Dennis Luxion Trio, the Charles Heath Quartet, and the Richard Johnson Quartet. In addition to running a private lessons studio, Sam has been the Jazz Bass instructor at Adlai E. Stevenson High School since 2018. 

Kyle Swan:

Grammy Award winning drummer Kyle Swan has been working on mastering his craft for over 15 years. He has demonstrated true dedication to enhancing his artistry in every way. He has participated in many music festivals across the world which include the Montreal Jazz Festival(Canada, 2016), Jazz Cruise(2017), Port Au Prince Jazz Festival (Haiti, 2018), Dromos Jazz Festival (Italy 2018) Guatemala Jazz Festival (Guatemala 2019), Menorca Jazz Festival (Spain 2019), and many others. He has had the honor of playing with many esteemed artists such as, @Grammy Award winning artists Brian Lynch, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Paquito D’Rivera. He has also had the privilege of playing with other phenomenal artists such as Bobby Broom, Orrin Evans, Alex Brown, Sean Jones, Eric Reed, etc. He attained his Undergraduate and Graduate degrees from University of Miami’s Frost School of Music from the years 2013-2018. He studied Criminology and Jazz Studies in his undergraduate degree and became the Teaching Assistant for the Jazz Drum Department during his graduate studies. As a student of the Black American Artform that is Jazz, Kyle has devoted quality time to his musical evolution, instruction, and mastery.


  • General

    $20 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    $10 Student/Discount

    Sale ended



Share This Event

bottom of page