Marcus completed his BM Classical Guitar Performance at Chicago College of the Performing Arts studying guitar under Paul Henry and Denis Azabagic. He’s participated the master classes of Oscar Ghiglia, Sharon Isbin, and William Kanengiser and, for many years, was a private student of Sergio Assad. In Cordoba, Spain, Dunleavy has studied with Larry Coryell, Manual Barrueco, David Russell, Pepe Romero, Odair Assad and Leo Brouwer.
Marcus has performed professionally as a soloist and in ensembles for the past 20 years. He’s been featured in the Chicago Latino Music Festival, at many venues throughout Chicago and has given concerts in Spain, Central America and Japan.
Marcus has crossed boundaries with a wide array of collaborators. In 2006, he released his third CD Emerge, which was broadcast on WFMT and has drawn praise from legendary Jazz Fusion pioneer Larry Coryell: “With beautiful technique and a deep and spiritual heart, Marcus shows us the way of the new generation of classical guitarists…” His guitar is featured on the debut pop album of 2010’s American Idol winner Lee Dewyze.
In 2008 he released his fourth CD Two To Tango with Cuban violinist Cristian Blanco performing the music of Astor Piazzolla. Marcus has played with Grammy winning Bandoneonista Raul Juarena in Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires. Other notable Latin collaborators include Latin Grammy winning flutist Nestor Torres, Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, Chicago Latin Jazz violinist James Sanders. International Committee of Artist’s for Peace credits include performing with Larry Coryell on his guitar quartet arrangement of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”, a Citizen Musicians festival with cellist Yo Yo Ma and as an accompanist for Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre and The Chicago Human Rhythm Project.
While maintaining a private teaching studio, Marcus also remains active as a composer. His piece Gassire’s Lute was broadcast on the internationally syndicated radio program “Fiesta!” and choreographed by Cuba’s National School of Ballet for the 2016 Chicago Latino Music Festival. His multimedia setting of Gwendolyn Brooks’ poetry was presented Collaboraction Theater’s 2018 Encounter festival. Currently, Marcus is involved in the study and propagation of Brazilian Choro and Samba, as a regular performer with the Chicago Choro Club.