Home » Jazz Musicians » Marshall Keys

Marshall Keys

”Marshall Keys' dulcet tones and earthy compositions conjure the spirits of jazzmen past and future. From mainstream to contemporary, from bebop to hip hop, he plays the saxophone with a sense of grace and emotion that is wholly without cliché.” -Mike Sager, Esquire

“Reedman Marshall Keys has his work cut out for him on his new CD Times Aligned, since anyone wishing to hear an alto-soprano saxophonist perform in a contemporary jazz setting has what, a few thousand options? A gifted musician and composer could have easily disappeared in the crowd, but Keys leaves his mark here by displaying his engaging musicality in a series of refreshingly textured contexts” -Mike Joyce, The Washington Post

A native of Washington, DC, Marshall began playing in the DC Youth Orchestra Program, then flirted with Jazz Studies at Howard University, all the while gigging with the notorious Blackbyrds, and the great blues artists Jimmy McGriff and Jimmy Witherspoon. He's played the East Coast Jazz Festival in Washington, DC as well as festivals in Germany, Ireland, Holland, Mexico, Indonesia, Africa and the Virgin Islands. He was a featured performer on the 17th Annual Norway Jazz Cruise. Marshall has enjoyed two collaborations with Mexican jazz pianist Juan Jose Calatayud at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, DC and at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California. In 2002 he toured Central and South America as a Jazz Ambassador with Lenny Robinson’s Organic Trio, and in 2003 toured Japan and the UK with vocalist Jimmy Scott. In May of 2005 Marshall went to Guinea, West Africa to perform and to lecture on the history of jazz in the US. Other highlights include a special concert performance of the music of Wayne Shorter at the Museum of American History commissioned by the Smithsonian. Guest performer and lecturer at the Romare Bearden Exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. Marshall’s debut CD “Times Aligned” is a beautiful recording featuring four of his original compositions, a beautiful cover of Janet Jackson, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis’ “The Body That Loves You”, as well as performance and compositions by Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Raymond Angry (Jill Scott), Federico Pena (Marcus Miller and Maxwell), and Eva Hambach, who is also responsible for the CD design and web site graphic content. The result is a project that looks as good as it sounds.

Read more


Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.