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Meet the South Jersey couple behind the Grammy-nominated jazz group The Baylor Project

Award-winning South Jersey jazz band makes music that connects to their African American roots
Award-winning South Jersey jazz band makes music that connects to their African American roots 02:12

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A married couple whose love language is music, Jean and Marcus Baylor are the multi-Grammy nominated jazz duo, The Baylor Project.

Before coming together as The Baylor Project, Jean Baylor was a member of the '90s R&B group Zhane, and Marcus Baylor played with the storied band The Yellowjackets.

The South Jersey songstress and St. Louis-born drummer met decades ago in New York City.

"We both love R&B, we both love soul music, we both have music majors in college in jazz," Marcus Baylor said. "So really it's Black music that brings us together."

So, what exactly is Black music?

"Love, inspiration, our reverence for God, and humanity," Marcus Baylor said. 

"It's all rooted in the blues, it's rooted in the Black experience in America and the art that came from that time period. The struggle, the suffering and the travail," Jean Baylor said.

And the kinetic couple isn't shy about their experience in the music industry as independent Black artists.

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"I remember when we started, the first venue we played was a 50-seater," Marcus Baylor said.

However, even back then, their vision was much bigger. In 2017 the Baylors earned their first Grammy nomination for their debut album, fittingly named "The Journey."

In 2024, The Baylor Project received its seventh nod from the Recording Academy for collaborating with Emmy Award-winning musical director, musician and songwriter Adam Blackstone and renowned keyboardist of Grammy Award-winning fusion group Yellowjackets Russell Ferranté in a live performance, "Vulnerable (Live)."

The track is featured on Blackstone's new album "The Legacy Experience Live," which was released last September.

"To be able to do this with your best friend is a blessing," Marcus Baylor said.

"We hope to leave a lasting impression and legacy within that sphere of Black music," Jean Baylor said.

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