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Jazz music at Hutchins Street Square with Marion Meadows

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Posted: Friday, April 10, 2015 8:04 am

Master saxophonist Marion Meadows will perform in Lodi on April 19.

Meadows’ love and curiosity for music started at the young age of eight. In school, he decided to take on learning the clarinet and he also studied classical music. Although clarinet wasn’t Meadows’ first instrument of choice — the saxophone was — he gladly took the opportunity to be able to play a musical instrument.

He credits his early interest in music to one of his cousins who rented an apartment above his parent’s apartment and sang in a church choir. Meadows shared memories of hearing his older cousin practice singing and playing church music on his organ. Meadow’s cousin inspired and encouraged him to continue to play his clarinet and learn more about music.

Meadows played the clarinet all through high school, and then decided to trade it in for his first desire, the saxophone.

From high school, Meadows moved to Chicago and attended the Berklee College of Music. He majored in music performance and arrangement. At Berklee, Meadows developed a strong foundation for music and of performance, however he attributes his music’s success from his live shows.

“Playing live is a testament to the how good the music school you went to was,” Meadows said. “There’s nothing like having hands-on experience, and performing live at a gig.”

After many years of performing in bands and recording with other artists, Meadows met famous drummer, Norman Connors, and joined his band and started recording with him.

One day while waiting for a train in Grand Central Station, Meadows was bored and decided to pull out his saxophone and play a tune. He recalls how there wasn’t many people in the station, but as he was playing a man stopped and listened and then introduced himself.

That man was producer Jay Chattaway. Chattaway extended an invitation to record some music with Meadows and he took it.

Through Chattaway, Meadows received the opportunity to work with some of Jazz’s greatest legends such as Bob James, Eartha Kitt and the Temptations.

“The opportunity to work with legends shaped my life and lifestyle. I had the opportunity to become a part of history and start my own legacy,” Meadows said.

Meadows’ solo career took off with RCA records in 1990.

Since becoming a successful solo artist, he has recorded many songs and traveled all over the world performing these songs on tour.

He says that the biggest reward he gets from his music career is the exchange of connection between himself and his audience.

“There’s a camaraderie I get from the people and it’s a positive connection,” Meadows said. “That’s sustained me in life, it’s like a drug and I never get tired of stepping out on stage and picking up my saxophone.”

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