We're a jazz group that feels at home in many different venues, events and occasions. Marshall plays solo piano with the group ranging in size from duo, trio to quartet consisting of piano, bass, drums and reeds (saxes and flute). Our music can be called Mainstream Jazz and Fusion and you'll hear Latin, rock and straight-ahead influences. We call our music Real Jazz, but you can decide on your own classification. It's very well suited for any occasion: energetic, infused with a musical depth and sensitivity.
While Marshall plays as a solo pianist or as a duo or trio, his quartet features music that is commensurate with outdoor festivals and other concert events. The group is a powerhouse of energy, yet musically sensitive. The band plays anything from originals to standards to little known masterpieces. The emphasis is on energy and good vibes.
Listed below are some of the establishments and events the group has played thus far. Please write for our latest engagements.
About the leader...
Pianist Marshall ‘Art‘ Shapiro has been playing for a number of years; he began at age nine and hasn’t stopped since. He spent years of formal lessons in the classics and later became interested in blues and jazz.
Marshall’s musical interest began in Sunday school as a toddler when he was drawn to the piano. At about five when hospitalized with an illness for a month, his father gave him records of the classics which he played constantly. At about the age of six, Marshall injured his right hand from an escalator accident which was treated by surgery. Despite this, Marshall began formally studying piano at the age of nine, His father’s records such as the Dukes of Dixieland, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman were an inspiration. A few rock and blues bands in high school provided the first group experiences.
Marshall began his professional musical career while in college as a music major in Fullerton, California. In addition to some great teachers at the school, an older organist and trumpet player with a questionable legal status named Jack was an early jazz influence there. Jack, who apparently was at the school on some kind of “re-entry” program, presented Marshall with the colorful and earthy side of the jazz culture before disappearing inexplicably from the scene. At about that time, Marshall also studied jazz very briefly with saxophone great Warne Marsh.
After playing casual parties including military bases, he landed his first steady five-night-a-week gig with a singer and a rhythm section at a Claremont restaurant. He then toured across the country with a jazz group and singer and then joined another group heading for San Jose. Marshall has some interesting stories from his road tours that won’t be told here.
Traveling throughout Oregon, California, and Lake Tahoe, he played resorts and clubs and then settled in the South San Francisco Bay area while in a quartet-sized dance band. His musical experiences have varied from pop, rock n’ roll, blues and jazz. Dance clubs allowed Marshall to make a living at night as he continued to study piano and jazz by day in the colleges and practice rooms. "Pop music wasn't my way of thinking musically, but it was a living," Marshall explains.
In recent years, Marshall has played in many of the popular jazz nightspots of the Bay Area especially in San Francisco, Palo Alto and the south bay area. Playing winery wine tastings have been some of his favorite jobs. He also plays with various jazz big bands in the area playing 20 piece arrangements including swing and dance.
We’re all inundated with the contortion of the word “jazz”: jazz hairstyles, jazz foods - well, you get the idea. Even some music called jazz doesn't even resemble the music that grew from its American, African and European roots. Marshall loosely defines Real Jazz as an instrumentally based music that largely features improvisation. While this subject easily fills books, the music tells the story.
• Los Gatos Fiesta De Artes
• Tapestry n’ Talent • Livermore Jazz Festival
• Berryessa Art & Wine Festival • Campbell Prune Festival
• Los Altos Rotary Club Art Show • Boulder Creek Art & Wine Festival
• The Walnut Creek Art and Wine Festival • Almaden Valley Art & Wine
• The Wente Bros. Harvest Wine Festival • Taste of Milpitas Festival
• Saxophone Colossus Series, San Jose Jazz Soc. • Willow Glen Avenue of the Arts
• Willow Glen Founder’s Day • Milpitas Art & Wine Festival
• Fremont Art & Wine Festival • Blackhawk Music Series
• Pleasanton Pasta & Jazz Festival • Los Gatos Music Series
• Menlo Park Market Place • Millbrae Art & Wine Festival
• Milpitas Music Series • Mirassou Vineyards
Club dates have included:
• Cave Stritch • Viva In Los Gatos
• Ajax Lounge in San Jose • Willow Glen Coffee Roasting Company of San Jose
• Great Bear Coffee in Los Gatos • Bella Mia Restaurant in Saratoga
• Gerard’s in San Jose • Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company
• Gordon Bierch Brewery in San Jose. • Plumed Horse in Saratoga
• Hilton Towers, San Jose Sunday brunch • AP Stump's, San Jose
• Jose’s in Palo Alto • Great Bear and Los Osos Cafe of Los Gatos
• Mission City Coffee Roasting • Orchard Valley Coffee Roasting Co.