Greg Marsh (1979) Drums
Autobiographical Sketch and Biography
Ed. Note: Greg Marsh was a member of the 1978 and 1979 New Trier West Recording Jazz Ensembles and can be heard on the Jaztrak recordings, Infusion and Chekmate, on this website.
When I think about everything that has transpired, since my high school days, it is clear that I have followed in my father’s footsteps. I found my passion for drumming at an early age and turned that passion into a professional career spanning 30 years. Can’t get much better than that!
During my high school days, I actively participated in all of the music department programs under the tutelage of music director Roger Mills and percussion teacher Phil Stanger.
Starting in the Concert Wind Ensemble, and Lab Jazz Ensemble, progressing to the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and the Percussion Ensemble, I finally achieved my dream of auditioning for and becoming a member of the New Trier West High School Recording Jazz Ensemble. I was so fortunate to have received such an exceptional educational experience during these formative years.
Roger Mills, our director, ran a tight ship, expected excellence, and brought out the best in everyone who took on the challenge. It was an invaluable learning experience that had a lasting influence as I continued my musical mission.
I listened to the Jaztrak albums before attending NTW which provided inspiration. The NTW big bands before my time were renowned for winning the Montreux International High School Jazz Band Competition.
I remember listening to my NTW drumming heroes Joe Mahoney, Mike Friedman, Rob Ferdman and Bucky Blomberg who played with confidence, musicality, and originality, with a solid sense of time, dynamics, and intensity.
I studied and learned the fundamentals of time, rhythm, melody, harmony, improvisation, practice routines, professionalism, and performance thanks to Roger & Phil.
Listening. Versatility. Rhythmic articulation and interpretation. These all served me well on a wide variety of shows, gigs, and sessions in a myriad of styles throughout my 40-year career.
The environment and culture of the New Trier West High School Music Department and specifically the Jazz Ensembles was exciting, challenging and rewarding. Thank you, Roger and Phil!!
Greg has performed and recorded in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, Mexico, Ireland and Maui, Hawaii, where he produced 3 CDs with Lynn Peterson featuring Maui’s finest jazz artists.
Greg has performed and recorded with a who’s who of Hawaii artists including Keali’i Reichel with the Maui Pops Orchestra, Kulewa, Benoit Jazz Works, Marve Blue Quartet, Curt Lee, Joe Cano, Tom Conway, Willy Wainwright, Gypsy Pacific, Kelly Covington, Brian Cuomo, Mark Epstein, Doug White, Mark Johnstone, Rob Loney, Ken Stover, Ron Hetteen, Damon Parillo, Keali’i Lum, Na Leo Pilimehana with the Maui Pops Orchestra, Jake Shimabukuro, Barry Flanagan, Lei’ohu Ryder, Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom, Eric Gilliom, Willie K., Sam Ahia, Howard Ahia, Henry Allen, The Gina Martinelli Band, Asian Blend, Gene Argel, Makana Argel, Mitch Hazama, Pam Peterson, Brado, Hau Phat, Raphael and Kutira, Jay Molina, The New Project, Lonny Willams, Debra Lynn, Jerry Eiting, Emil Richards, George Benson, Mick Fleetwood, David Benoit, Bob Jones, Brent Lewis, Patrick Major, Colin John, Gabriel Mark Hasselbach, Daniel Timmermans, Ray Gooliak, Pete Wasner, Mat Cain, Billy Laymon from NRPS, Middle John, Eric Burdon of The Animals, Estee & Company, JD on the Rocks, Tim Hackbarth, Tim Osborne, Shiro Mori, Nino Toscano, Vince Esquire, Bob Bangerter, Morganne, Paul Marchetti, Tommy Hall, Tony Ray, Margie Heart, Professor Ed Connors, Jamie Lawrence, Les Adam, Dorothy Betts… and many other incredible musicians.
Greg has also worked extensively throughout the Islands with Espresso and Dr. Rock with the entertainment, production agency Musical Options under the musical direction of Tim O’Hara, as well as many musically diverse gigs for Envisions Entertainment and Tihati Productions.
Teaching beside esteemed jazz drummer Roscoe Wright, Greg was on staff of AECG (Arts Education for Children Group) for 3 years and worked beside world-renowned percussionist Emil Richards conducting clinics and workshops with the help of drummer extroadinaire Michael Buono.
Greg was a member of the ‘loft’ orchestra for the Maui OnStage production of “Chicago” handling all of the drum and percussion duties under the musical direction of Cody Gilette and Curt Lee. In June 2007, Greg performed with Maui’s own Zenshin Daiko at the 8th Annual Taiko Festival. He composed a piece entitled “Okonomi II” with Taiko drummers Yuta Kato and Preston Jones, which was a collaboration to explore the similarities and differences between Western Drumming and Taiko.
In October 2007, Greg had the privilege to perform with the Maui Pops Orchestra for their annual Halloween concert under the musical direction of Conductor Stuart Chafetz.
In January 2008, Greg reunited once again with the Maui Pops Orchestra featuring Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro for a sold-out performance.
Greg has performed and recorded with many great artists including Joe Walsh, Rick Danko and The Band, Maxwell, Sonia Dada, Mavis Staples, John Martyn, Pete Special, The Cathy Richardson Band, Dick Holliday and the Bamboo Gang, Brad Nye Band, Bass 30, The Way Moves, Bob Marsh, Arthur Lee Land, Alex V., Dan Peters and The West Side Winders, Kevin Matthews’ ED Zeppelin, Jerry Goodman, John Rice, Damian Smith, Mr. Blotto, Ralph Covert, Dave Uhrich, The Andalusian Dogs, Ireland’s Larry Hogan, ‘Bumble Bee Bob’ Novak, Survivor, Robin Zander and Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, Mojo and the Bayou Gypsies, Count Bop and the Headliners, Jazz Plow, Primitive Culture, Gibraltar Rockets, O’bros, Freedy Johnston, The Know It All Boyfriends…and the list continues to grow.
Greg has worked with many accomplished producers including six time Grammy Award winning Justin Niebank at Castle Recording Studio, Pressure Point Studios and Chicago Recording Company, Jim Tullio at Butcher Boy, Craig Williams at Dr. Caw Recording (30 years), Jim Peterik/Frankie Sullivan at Royal Recorders, Peter Mochran at CRC, Dave Poler at Elabs, Pat Brennan at Hubbard St. Studios, Lynn Peterson at Lahaina Sound, Joel Katz at Seaside Recording, Timothy Powell at Metro Mobile Recording, Jack LeTourneau at Elabs, Randall Riley, Roger Bain, Chuck Kawal, Danny Leake, Billy Franze and Tommy Tucker Jr. at Paisley Park Studios, George Merrill, Jay O’Rourke, Ian Taylor at Pierce Arrow Studios, Stephen Powers and Brian McGee at Second City Recording, Na Hoku Hanohano Award winning producer Dave Tucciarone at Mountain Apple Studios with Na Hoku Hanohano finalists “Kulewa”, featuring Damon Parillo, Ron Hetteen, Keali’i Lum and Tim Osborne.
In the 1980’s, Greg toured with The Way Moves opening for Duran Duran, Culture Club, The Psychedelic Furs, and Gang of Four and performing on The Today Show with Jane Pauly. Greg also recorded on many jingles including McDonald’s, Miller Beer, Busch Beer, Texas Instruments, and assorted breakfast cereals. He enjoys telling the story of how one ad agency executive asked him to make his instruments sound “more breakfasty.”
Greg co-produced the cut “Bulls Are Gonna Mess You Up” on the Jim Tullio produced Chicago Bulls tribute CD, “Go Bullistic” with Grant Tye and Klem Hayes from Dick Holliday and the Bamboo Gang. Greg and Klem also recorded and performed with Lisa Loeb for Jeremy Pivens’ ABC television show Cupid. Dick Holliday and The Bamboo Gang was sponsored by Miller Genuine Draft beer for 3 years, leading to endorsement deals with Sabian Cymbals, Pro Mark Drumsticks and Remo Drum Heads. The Cathy Richardson Band was sponsored by Rolling Rock beer.
Greg contributed to Showcase Music Magazine with his “Percussion Discussion” column featuring interviews with top professional drumming artists, as well as exploring concepts and methods for modern drumming. Greg has also written columns for Singer & Musician Magazine, a part of the “I Live to Play Network”.