Greg Marsden, saxophone player for Truth in Jazz Orchestra, has music experience in places ranging from western Michigan to London, England.
His interest in jazz began in high school, when he joined a band and discovered the joy of improvisation. During that time, a music teacher at Duke University gave him private lessons, recognized his talent, and encouraged him to pursue his musical passion.
Greg lived in London for eight years where he was involved in numerous musical performance groups including some that he led himself. He also has worked as a musician on cruise ships. Eventually he and his wife settled in the Grand Rapids area.
Presently, he plays lead tenor sax for both the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra and Truth in Jazz Orchestra. He is a player as well with a sextet called the Grand Rapids Jazz Consortium. In addition to the saxophone, audiences will occasionally be treated to his renditions on the flute or clarinet.
Greg says he enjoys seeing the smiles on peoples’ faces when he plays for an audience. “It is especially rewarding to have listeners talk to me afterwards and mention that I remind them of particular jazz musicians in the past.”
“You bring a lot of joy to people with this kind of music,” he says. “In a lot of cases we are taking them back to the age when big bands were more the popular thing.”
And Greg admires the jazz greats of American history, particularly John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, and Dexter Gordon - all sax players of course! Through the years he has adopted some of their musical styles and has developed variations of his own.
Greg lives in Jenison with his wife and two children. He works in internet marketing. He is a 1992 graduate of Indiana University School of Music with a degree in jazz studies.