Marcus Roberts (born August 7, 1963 in Jacksonville, Florida) is an American jazz pianist who has achieved fame as a gifted stride pianist committed to celebrating classic standards and jazz traditions. Roberts has also distinguished his solos by accompanying himself with walking basslines. He thus creates a more two-fisted style than is quite found elsewhere in modern jazz, but Roberts' basslines are convincingly spontaneous. Roberts is also a fine interpreter of Thelonious Monk, and brings a lot of creative dissonances to Monk's compositions.
Blind since his youth, he attended the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, Florida, alma mater of another distinguished musician, Ray Charles. Roberts began playing piano at an early age and then studied the instrument with world-renown pianist Leonidas Lipovetsky, while attending Florida State University. In 1985, he got his big break when famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis chose him as his new sideman. He became a close friend and disciple of Marsalis, and collaborated with him on many projects during the ensuing years.
With Marsalis' support and soon after joining him, Roberts began cutting his own records. His albums tend to be homages to past jazz greats.However, his playing ability and technique have always been highly regarded and his music has added to the vocabulary of modern jazz piano and the piano trio.