Merit School of Music Alumn Marquis Hill to Headline 2nd Annual 'Play On' Benefit Concert


Acclaimed jazz trumpeter Marquis Hill (photo by Deneka Peniston).

Chicago’s Merit School of Music will present its 2nd Annual ‘Play On’ concert benefiting music education, to be headlined by Merit alum, internationally renowned musician, composer and bandleader, Marquis Hill, at City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph Street, Monday, March 2, at 7 p.m. Joining Hill will be fellow Merit alumni who both return to the ‘Play On’ bill following their crowd-pleasing performances in 2019: Detroit-based jazz pianist Alexis Lombre and Chicago singer/songwriter Christine Whack as emcee. Opening the concert will be the current Merit Honors Jazz Combo, Merit’s highest-level Conservatory jazz ensemble. ‘Play On’ is presented by @properties. 

Recently cited by The New York Times as releasing one of the nation’s Top Jazz Albums of 2019, Hill breaks down the barriers that divide musical genres, effortlessly fusing contemporary and classic jazz, hip hop, R&B, Chicago house and neo-soul. This thrilling artist, born and raised on Chicago’s culturally rich South Side, became a presence on the global scene virtually overnight after winning the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Trumpet Competition in 2014. Hill attended Merit from 2002-05, studying under the late Michael McLaughlin, who also trained fellow Merit alumni and renowned trumpeters Nico Segal and Will Miller.  

Said Hill, “My Merit experience was absolutely amazing. Merit helped me prepare mentally and musically for college and the real world. I am honored to ‘pay it forward’ at this concert by helping raise funds to provide access to the quality music education I was fortunate to receive. Though I travel the world, Chicago will always be my home and Merit my foundation.”

‘Play On’ benefit concert tickets, priced from $25-$45, are on sale now by visiting or calling (312) 733-9463; a limited number of special MOJO VIP package tickets are available for $100 and include premium seating, a specially-curated ‘Play On’ bottle of City Winery wine and special edition Merit t-shirt. 

​For more information on Merit School of Music and its 2nd Annual ‘Play On’ benefit concert please visit