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A Little History...

At fifteen George Marsh became a professional drummer in Belleville, Illinois. His early experiences included work with Sam Andria, Jimmy Williams, and Barbara Streisand (before she became a super star). He studied percussion with Tom Siwe and Jack McKenzie at Champagne-Urbana, and later played with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Judy Roberts Trio, John Klemmer, William Russo's experimental big band,  The Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players and many great Chicago jazz musicians.


Since 1968, he has lived in the San Francisco area where he has performed and recorded with musicians such as: Denny Zeitlin, David Grisman Quintet/Sextet, Jerry Garcia, John Abercrombie, Mose Allison, Smith Dobson, Joe Henderson, Art Lande, Harold Land, Terry Riley, William Allaudin Mathieu, Pauline Oliveros, Kronos Quartet, Mel Martin, etc. If you were around in 1970, perhaps you caught him with Chuck Berry, Loading Zone or The Jerry Hahn Brotherhood at the Fillmore West and East.

A black and white, overhead picture of George Marsh playing the drums.
College Campus


Composer, Author…

I started teaching shortly after I got my first drumset at age 12. There were very few jazz drummers in Belleville and the surrounding area at the time (1953) and I had learned a lot by seeing Gene Krupa, Pap Jo Jones, and Buddy Rich at Jazz At The Philharmonic concerts. I can still feel the excitement when I saw Count Basie with Sonny Payne on drums! A little later when I was in high school I would go to Peacock Alley in St. Louis and see Philly Jo Jones, Max Roach, Art Blakey--all at the young age of 16. 

A portrait of George Marsh playing congo drums.

George has written percussion music for such films as Never Cry Wolf and The Black Stallion. He premiered a suite of his pieces for chamber ensemble in the fall of 2002 at the Lincoln Center in New York which featured Rich Fudoli (reeds), David Wessel (interactive electroacoustics), and Mel Graves, bass. And he also performed on this same concert with Timeless Pulse featuring Pauline Oliveros (just intonation accordion), Thomas Buckner (vocals), Jennifer Wilsey (percussion), and David Wessel (interactive electroacoustics). 

George has taught drumming and rhythm theory at the University of California at Santa Cruz since 1982 and at Sonoma State University. He also teaches remotley from his private studio in Santa Rosa California. His book, Inner Drumming is a highly praised and unique manual for drummers.

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