Hugh Marsh

Violinist, composer, dreamer Hugh Marsh is widely regarded as Canada's leading improvising violinist. He studied classical violin from age 5 until 20, however it was picking up the saxophone in high school that led him to exploring other musics, especially jazz, funk, and r&b. It was Marsh's father who suggested he apply his newfound love of improvisation on the saxophone to the violin and one day Hugh returned home from school to discover a Balilla amp and a DeArmond pickup for his violin in the living room. A wah wah pedal soon followed and Marsh's interest in sound processing was born. In 1977 Marsh and longtime friend drummer Kevan Mckenzie made the move from Ottawa to Toronto. During this first sojourn Hugh had the opportunity to play with many of the Canadian jazz musicians whose work he had long admired including Moe Koffman, Don Thompson, Doug Riley, Claude Ranger and Sonny Greenwich. While visiting his parents at Christmas 1979 Marsh performed at a benefit for the Children's Hospital in Ottawa with guitarist Roddy Elias and was introduced to singer songwriter Bruce Cockburn who was performing at the same event. This fortuitous meeting resulted in numerous recordings and world tours with Bruce over the years.

Besides touring with Cockburn, Hugh became in demand as a gun for hire performing on numerous recordings and touring with Canadian songstress Mary Margaret O'Hara among others. In 1990 while overdubbing violin on Loreena Mckennitt's breakthrough album "The Visit" he was invited to join her band leading once again to numerous world tours and recordings over the next eight years. After performing in Los Angeles at the Universal Amphitheater in 1998 with Loreena, Hugh received a phone call from Touchstone Pictures about performing on the soundtrack to the movie "Armageddon". The soundtrack was a steppingstone to Marsh's ongoing working relationship with Gregson Williams which has included the scores to "Whatever Happened to Harold Smith", "Spygame", "Veronica Guerin", "Sinbad", "The Rundown", "Man on Fire", "Shrek 2", "Return to Sender", "Kingdom of Heaven", "The Chronicles of Narnia", "Seraphim Falls", "Deja Vu" and "The Number 23". Hugh is also the featured violin soloist on Hans Zimmer's score to "The Da Vinci Code".

Hugh Marsh toured with Goth icon Peter Murphy in 2000 and 2002, has been an ongoing member of Turkish Dj Mercan Dede's Secret Tribe project, one quarter of "Nick Buzz", and most recently joined clarinet visionary Don Byron's new quartet "Swiftboat"which includes Kermit Driscoll and Pheeroan Aklaff. Hugh is about to release his third solo recording entitled "Hug Mars", which features poet Ursula Rucker, James Blood Ulmer, Tanya Tagaq Gillis, Kokayi, Gregoire Maret, Andy Milne, Dafnis Prieto, Pancho Quinto and Pedro Martinez among others.

Marsh is a four time recipient of the Jazz Report award for violinist of the year and a two time winner of the National Jazz award for violinist of the year.

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