Born: April 13, 1938 Primary Instrument: Drums
Coming from a family of musicians in Springfield Massachusetts, Eddie Marshall is acknowledged as a leading figure in the evolution of San Francisco's contemporary jazz sound. For over fifty years he has played drums with nearly every major name in jazz, from Freddie Hubbard, Jon Hendricks and Dexter Gordon to Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Eddie Harris. A consummate sideman, Marshall was the designated house drummer at San Francisco's famed nightclub, Keystone Korner during the 1970s. His most long-standing musical associations have been with Toshiko Akiyoshi, with whom he has played since 1958, the late Stan Getz, Bobby Hutcherson and Bobby McFerrin. He co-founded with Mike Nock the seminal jazz fusion group, The Fourth Way. Since 1989 Marshall has also been performing on the alto and soprano recorders, working within a large variety of ensemble arrangements on a baroque instrument rarely heard in jazz. Logo
While playing with many of the greatest jazz musicians of his day, Eddie Marshall has also distinguished himself as a composer. With two albums of original music to his name, his work is appreciated for both its driving intensity and joyous, melodic lyricism. Chamber Music America with support from the Doris Duke Foundation awarded Marshall two grants through their New Works and New Works Encore Program, commissioning him to compose an original piece. Dreams That Dance- A Suite, performed by Marshall's Holy Mischief Ensemble, premiered at the San Francisco Jazz Festival in November 2004.
Since 1981 Marshall has maintained an active teaching schedule in addition to his busy performance career. He has taught traps, jazz theory, composition, and small and big band arranging at The Stanford Jazz Workshop and Rhythmic Concepts Jazz Camp since 1984. Part of San Francisco Symphony's Adventures in Music series throughout the 1990’s, he has also taught ensemble classes at The Jazz School in Berkeley. He has led several free after-school instrument instruction programs, including guitarist Bruce Forman’s innovative JazzMasters Workshop for which he was the Bay Area director.
In 2000 the SF Jazz Festival honored Marshall with its first annual Beacon Award, celebrating his lifelong commitment to jazz music and education. From 2000 to 2003 Marshall served as the Music Chair of the San Francisco Arts Commission. Since 2007 Eddie Marshall has toured and recorded with the great vibraphonist, Bobby Hutcherson, continuing a more than 30 year collaboration, which according to Marshall, has been one of the highlights of his career.
Eddie Marshall is still my favorite drummer, it was wonderful to watch him play. To hear drums so sensitively played is mesmerizing. How can one play drums so softly and unobtrusively even to the softly spoken bass, and yet keeping perfect time! His sticks and brushes danced on the instruments. It was so graceful! It seemed so effortless! --Stella Cheung Houston, JazzNow
Jazz Drummer Eddie Marshall was chosen to receive the first Annual SFJazz Beacon Award at the 18th Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival this past November. Marshall was quoted as saying the award was totally unexpected... It's not often a side man, like a drummer, gets an award. Yet according to SFJazz, he is the embodiment of the beacon ... he's extended jazz in the Bay Area into exciting new areas and inspired countless other musicians. --Thomas Lindley, JazzTimes
Marshall enthralled the audience (and his fellow musicians) with his superb skills on alto recorder. Holy Mischief led the evening with a comfortable mainstream trio of tunes. He then returned for two quartet reunion groups. The first was fronted by Bobby McFerrin (with pianist Paul Nagel and Jeff Carney on acoustic bass). Their three-song set was capped by a sublime rendition of Miles Davis' Selim. The second reunion was of The Fourth Way (Michael White on violin, Mike Nock on piano, and Bob McClure on bass). The night finished with an all-star finale, Sandu. With jazz this fine in our own neighborhood, who needs New York? --Wayne Saroyan, JazzWest