Saxophone, jazz, played with Woody Herman, Frank Sinatra
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
The story of Arno Marsh will be told, sung, and played by a retinue of talent assembled for a matinee performance at the E-String, November 14th at 3:00PM. Producer/writer Phil Marcus Esser has wrapped the Bruce Harper Band around Arno and his life story as he plays his way from big band to big band. Besides the 17 piece orchestra there will be special appearances by piano man Charlie Shaffer and his bass playing sidekick of many years, Bob Baker, as well as singers Mike Miele, Laura Shaffer, and Marsha Ross.
When you see and hear him playing his well used tenor sax that used to belong to Stan Getz, it’s hard to believe that Arno Marsh is 82 years old. You find yourself being transported to birdland. You pay attention! His dad paid attention when Arno mentioned that he liked the Louis Armstrong stuff a lot more than the Guy Lombardo. So, when Arno was ten years old, he was given a trumpet. He said, “No”, so his father tried a saxophone! That was it! And you have to wonder if he had any idea where that instrument was going to lead him. In 1945, he left his hometown, Grand Rapids, Michigan, to try his skills as a sax player in what they then called, “Midwest territory bands”. He wanted to play Jazz. A few years later, he joined Woody Herman in creating what would be known as “The Third Herd”. From there the list of famous bands and performances go on forever. He was good! The offers kept coming
Arno Marsh (b. May 28, 1928, Grand Rapids, Michigan) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist.
Marsh played early on in local dance bands, then played in Woody Herman’s ensemble from 1951 to 1953, where he soloed frequently on Herman’s Mars Records releases. He led a band in a Grand Rapids residency from 1953 to 1955, then rejoined Herman intermittently through 1958. He also recorded with Stan Kenton, Charlie Barnet, Lionel Hampton, Buddy Rich, and Harry James. After the late 1950s most of Marsh’s activity was in Las Vegas leading hotel orchestras; he accompanied Nancy Wilson on record with one of them in 1968, and did a Woody Herman tribute in 1974. His son, Randy Marsh, is a noted jazz drummer who performed for years with pianist Eddie Russ, a student of Art Tatum from Pittsburgh, PA.
The Jazz Network Worldwide:
Saxman Arno Marsh joins his son, drummer Randy Marsh, for an evening at Rockford Michigan’s Grill One-Eleven