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Meet Hugh Marsh: Hugh Marsh is widely recognized as Canada's leading improvising violinist. He has toured, recorded or performed with Don Byron, Jon Hassell, Bruce Cockburn, Loreena McKennitt, Harry Gregson Williams, Hans Zimmer, Daniel Lanois, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Mercan Dede, Roberto Occhipinti, Goksel Baktagir, Nexus, Robert Palmer and Peter Murphy, among many others.
Instrument: electric violin.
Teachers and/or influences? Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Arvo Part, Alban Berg, Olivier Messiaen, Prince, Eric Dolphy, Sun Ra, Larry Graham, Jon Hassell, Oval, Betty Davis and Sly Stone, among many others.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I could hear sounds in my head that had to come out.
Your sound and approach to music: Emphasis on Time and Tone.
Your dream band: Dave Douglas: trumpet; Gregoire Maret: harmonica; Don Byron: clarinet; Uri Caine: fender Rhodes; Larry Goldings: B-3; Rick Cox: guitar, Rich Brown: bass; Dafnis Prieto: drums, Jack DeJohnette: drums, Pedro Martinez: percussion.
Anecdote from the road: What happens on the road stays on the road.
Favorite venue: Babylon / Istanbul / Turkey
Your favorite recording in your discography and why? My latest recording Hugmars because it is by far and away the truest representation of my musical interests.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? Time, Tone, and some extended pizz technique on the violin.
Did you know... I am quite active in the film score world in Los Angeles and have appeared on numerous soundtracks as violin soloist including The Chronicles of Narnia, Déjà vu, The Number 23, The Da Vinci Code, Shrek 2, Veronica Guerin, Armaggedon and Kingdom of Heaven, to name a few.
CDs you are listening to now: Dafnis Prieto, Absolute Quintet (Zoho); Arvo Part, Alina (ECM); Keith Jarrett, Facing You (ECM); Jon Hassell, Live in Berlin; Ben Grossman, unreleased CD.
Desert Island picks: Frank Zappa, Hot Rats (Barking Pumpkin); Gidon Kremer, Berg violin concerto; Mary Margaret O'Hara, Miss America (Koch); Miles Davis, Bitches Brew (Columbia); Jimi Hendrix, Are You Experienced (Reprise).
How would you describe the state of jazz today? Essentially thriving.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Radio support and open ears.
What is in the near future? World tour with Verve recording artist Loreena McKennitt; New ECM recording with Jon Hassell; Film score work with Harry Gregson Williams.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.