Marc Duby was born in Cape Town, South Africa, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy from UCT in 1975. Having begun his professional career as bassist in that city in 1972, Duby returned from overseas to begin musical studies at UCT in 1980, culminating in the award of the first masters’ degree in jazz performance (cum laude) in Durban 1987.
Duby spent the next decade and a half teaching in South African technikons (Technikon Natal and Technikon Pretoria, now Durban Institute of Technology and Tshwane University of Technology respectively) where he was responsible for subjects such as Ensemble, Film Music, Music Technology, and Instrument. Among his most well known students are Victor Masondo, Concord Nkabinde, Lex Futshane, and Nibs van der Spuy, all household names in South African music.
Appointed in 2001 as the first director of the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band, he completed his PhD thesis in 2006 on Soundpainting, the New York composer Walter Thompson’s sign language for live composition. Awarded established researcher status in 2010 by the National Research Foundation, Prof Duby has presented academic papers in Tenerife, Bologna, New Orleans, Thessaloniki, and at Cambridge University and the Universidad de la Rioja (Logroño, Spain), as well as serving as visiting lecturer at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland) and Universidad Veracruzana (México). His research interests include improvisation, embodiment, critical theory, jazz studies, and philosophy of mind, as well as semiotics, phenomenology, music cognition and perception.
He has acted in the capacity of external examiner at undergraduate and postgraduate level for many South African higher education institutions including UCT, the University of Pretoria, UFS, UKZN, and Wits University, and the Elder Conservatory of Music (Adelaide University, Australia).
Recent performances and collaborations as performer/composer include:
- David Bass and AcidBasS: Mahogany Room, Cape Town, 12 January
- Unisa Jazz Trio: Miriam Makeba concert hall, Unisa, 3 May
- David Bass and AcidBasS: Marimba, Cape Town, 12 May
- Barbora Tellinger: Musaion, University of Pretoria, 25 May
- David Bass and AcidBasS: Nassau Centre, Cape Town, 13 May
- Mageshen Naidoo: Northwest University, Potchefstroom, 29 June
- Karendra Devroop: Northwest University, Potchefstroom, 28 August
- Barbora Tellinger: Musaion, University of Pretoria, 2 September
- 28 September-8 October. Invited faculty member Unisa International Jazz School. Performances with local and international musicians (including Søren Nørbo, Baron Tymas, etc.)
- Performances with Karendra Devroop Quartet: Samui International Jazz Music Festival, Koh Samui, Thailand (16 October and 19 October 2012)
Beginning his fifth decade as professional bassist, Marc Duby has worked with iconic figures of South African music including Barney Rachabane, Nelson Magwaza, Philip Tabane, Winston Mankunku Ngozi, John Fourie, Bruce Cassidy, Darius Brubeck, the Kalahari Surfers, Steve Newman and Tony Cox as well as international artists such as Ernest Khabeer Dawkins (USA), François Jeanneau (France), Pandit Sanjoy Bandophadyaye (India), and Roberto Bonati (Italy).
A founding contributor to the annual Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival in Grahamstown, Duby serves on the board of such music organisations as New Music SA and the South African Association of Jazz Educators. A prize-winning composer of film music, he is active as a performer, composer/arranger, and music educator, and in June 2011 joined the University of South Africa as Research Professor in Musicology in the Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology. He is married to the singer/ songwriter Lydia vom Hagen.