Born in Copenhagen Denmark, percussionist Markus Schwartz grew up in an American household surrounded by jazz, and has devoted the last twenty years to learning the wealth and complexity of traditional Haitian drum music. Moving in and out of Haiti since the early 1990s, Markus followed the lead of Haitian percussionists on pilgrimages into the countryside to learn the intricate and powerful Vodou drums. Markus was a founding member of the ground-breaking Haitian Jazz quintet Mozayik and the Buyu Ambroise & Blues in Red Band, Markus has recorded and/or performed around the world with many of Haiti's finest musicians, including “Queen of Haitian Song” Emeline Michel and Hip-Hop superstar Wyclef Jean.
In late 2008, Markus recorded and produced his own recording, featuring an all-star cast of invited guests. "Tanbou nan Lakou Brooklyn/Haitian Drums in the Brooklyn Yard" was featured extensively on National Public Radio and reached #3 on the JazzWeek World radio charts. His next release, "Equinox", by Markus Schwartz & the Lakou Brooklyn Quartet, (2010, Soundkeeper Recordings) was a quartet recorded live by master engineer Barry Diament. Equinox was named Recording of the Month by Stereophile Magazine and continues to be a "go to" reference recording for high-end audio gear demonstrations.
in 2012, Vo-Duo (a duet project, with the multi-talented singer/guitarist and composer Monvelyn Alexis from Haiti), released their debut recording "Nou La" (We Are Here). Inspired by the rhythms and chants of the sacred Vodou music traditions of Haiti, guitarist/vocalist extraordinaire Monvelyno Alexis and renowned percussionist Markus Schwartz incorporate elements of "Mizik Rasin", Jazz and Rock into a uniquely original and modern improvisational context.
Markus has collaborated with a dynamic range of artists from the jazz and world music scenes such as: Jeff Ballard, Yosvany Terry, Jacques Schwarz-Bart, Eddy Francois, Sanba Zao, Dadi Beaubrun, BeLO, James Germaine, Jowee Omicil, Lionel Loueke, Sten Kallman/Simbi and Mino Cinelu, among many others.