Native New Yorker Marcell A. Bellinger, had a trumpet put in his hands at the age of seven. His discovery of music set him on a path that changed his life. When he was twelve, his family relocated to the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania; it was at this point where his musical journey gained momentum. After a chance meeting with Jay Rattman a lifelong friendship started and he was introduced to the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the arts (COTA) organization. While participating in the organization, Bellinger had the opportunity to be mentored by a variety of professional musicians in the Delaware Water Gap area. These musicians include, but are not limited to: Jerry Harris and NEA Jazz Masters Phil Woods and Dave Liebman.
After an introduction initiated by local music professor Patrick Dorian, Marcell Bellinger began his studies under world-class trumpeter Terell Stafford at Temple University. During his college years, Bellinger worked as a band leader, arranger and composer. While building his reputation on the Philadelphia music scene, he has had the opportunity to share the stage with several jazz greats such as: Randy Brecker, Charles McPherson, Benny Golson, and Urbie Green. Along with jazz performances, Bellinger has made several appearances with Jeff Bradshaw’s R&B group Brass Heaven and a special performance with Chuck Brown and The Roots.
After receiving his undergraduate degree from Temple, he continued his musical education at New Jersey City University. While at NJCU, Bellinger studied trumpet with Joe Magnarelli and composition with pianist Joel Weiskopf. Just a train ride away, Bellinger performed at various venues in Manhattan such as Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Orbit and The Garage.
In addition to performing, the spark of educating young musicians was ignited. Due to his positive mentoring experience, he felt compelled to give back. Marcell began coaching young musicians at the Calhoun Summer Jazz Camp in Manhattan. He has done similar work at the COTA Jazz Camp in Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania. After receiving his master’s degree, Marcell was given the opportunity to perform and teach, for many summers, at the Birch Creek Performing Arts Center in Door County, Wisconsin. He taught beginning jazz theory and served as a trumpet teaching assistant at the Jazz House Kids Summer Jazz Camp in Montclair, New Jersey from 2012 to 2015. Additionally, from 2012 to 2018 Bellinger served as a teaching artist for the Jazz House Kids educational outreach program in Newark, NJ.
Now residing in Philadelphia, Bellinger is an adjunct professor at Temple University and instructor at the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts. He has collaborated with the Philadelphia Jazz Project on a variety of concert series, one of which resulted in a live album of his original compositions inspired by artist Norman Lewis. In his quest for knowledge, Marcell continues to study various musical subjects with Philadelphia stalwart music performer and industry maven John Vanore. He remains an active arranger, composer and trumpet player. Since music has made such a difference in his life, Bellinger continues his commitment to use music to positively influence people--young or old--wherever he goes.