Musician/composer Marcos Varela began his musical career at the age of 17. He started playing the bass in his native Houston, TX while attending the highly acclaimed High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, a school which has been attended by many greats in music and art today. Some alumni include Jason Moran, Robert Glasper, Beyonce Knowles, Brian-Micheal Cox, Eric Harland, Chris Dave, Matt Mullenweg (wordpress inventor) and many more. Inspired by such talented mentors and peers this led Marcos to want to pursue a career in music.
Marcos quickly gained recognition in the Houston jazz scene and by the age of 18 was one of the top honorees of the NFAA International Jazz award and a IAJE Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Star fellow. In recent years he was invited to participate in the IASJ in Frieburg, Germany, a program featuring top students from jazz programs worldwide led by Dave Liebman and George Gruntz. Later, he was a member of the prestigious Kennedy Centers “Betty Carter Jazz Ahead” Program held in Washington, D. C., and Rivinia-Steans Institute, held in Chicago, Illinois. Both are programs by invitation and take musicians based on high level musical composition and performance skills.
After attending the New School University/Mannes School of Music in NYC on scholarship Marcos quickly became part of the New York and World music scene collaborating and performing with a wide variety of world class musicians and music legends such as Billy Hart, Charli Persip, Martha Wainwright, The Last Poets (Umar Bin Hassan), The Mingus Big Band, Jason Moran, Yosvany Terry, Larry John McNally, Lee Curreri, Bill Lee, Manuel Valera, Brad Leali, George Cables, Billy Harper, Orrin Evans, Bob Mover, Frank Lacy, Mike Moreno, Logan Richardson, Greg Bandy, Winard Harper, Clifton Anderson, Edsel Gomez, Aaron Goldberg, Mark Shim, Phoenix Rivera, Steve Williams, Rudy Royston, Ron Afif, E.J Strickland, David Budway, David Weiss, Lauren Sevian, Bruce Barth, Bruce Cox, Andre Hayward, Tyshawn Sorey, Jacob Sacks, Junior Mance, Wayne Escoffery, Thomas Heberer, Logan Richardson, Dayna Stevens, Helen Sung, Ohad Talmor, Donald Vega, Michael Attias, Antonio Hart, Miles Okazaki, Nir Felder, Sam Barsh, Allan Harris, Robert Glasper, George Colligan, Victor Jones, Kendrick Scott, Lew Tabackin and Geri Allen…Just to name a few.
Marcos is also very accomplished in his compositions for Film and TV. One of his achievements is a film score for acclaimed director Domenica Cameron-Scorsese’s film “Roots in Water,” an adaptation of a piece by Tony Award winning playwright, Richard Nelson. It was an official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival and received a red carpet premiere. “Roots in Water” also appeared at the Chicago Film Festival, Woods Hole Film Festival, Prague Film Festival, Albuquerque Film Festival, among others (www.rootsinwater.com). Marcos’ film credits also include “Greenwich and 11th” directed by John Carlino and Co-Produced by Domenica Cameron-Scorsese. It premiered at the Ft.Lauderdale Film Festival 2010. In addition to his film scoring career some of Marcos’ compositions can be heard on popular American TV shows, Trailers, as well commercials in the U.S and in Canada.
In the realm of popular music Marcos has composed music, taken part in music videos and recorded for The Last Poets- Umar Bin Hassan (Jerome Huling) solo project featuring, Cappadonna of the Wu-Tang Clan, Styles P, Common, Dead Prez, Roy Hargrove and many others. Another project in development he is a part of is a new Jamaican hip-hop sensation “Rally Bop”. He has also as of recent gotten to work with acclaimed composers Larry John McNally (Rod Stewart, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, Alan Toussaint) and Lee Curreri (Fame)
Marcos has performed on three continents and over ten different countries worldwide.