Eric Marienthal

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Eric Marienthal
Eric Marienthal - Jazz na Starowce 2012 (3).jpg
Marienthal in 2012
Background information
Born (1957-12-13) December 13, 1957 (age 58)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Saxophone, flute, piccolo
Labels GRP, PolyGram, Peak
Associated acts Chick Corea Elektric Band, The Rippingtons, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, Jeff Lorber Fusion
Website Official website
Marienthal (right) with Ray Reach, Director of Student Jazz Programs for the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
Marienthal (left) and Russ Freeman

Eric Marienthal (born December 13, 1957[1]) is a Grammy Award-winning[2] Los Angeles-based contemporary saxophonist best known for his work in the jazz, jazz fusion, smooth jazz, and pop genres.

Early life and career[edit]

Eric Marienthal was born on December 13, 1957 in Sacramento, California to Robert Marienthal, an insurance salesman, but moved to San Mateo when he was two years old.[3] He has credited his enthusiasm for music on being taught music while in school, and picked up the saxophone in the fourth grade after he thought it looked "pretty cool". Marienthal has also mentioned his father was a fan of music, particularly 1940s and 1950s such as Boots Randolph, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.[4] He initially wanted to pick up the trumpet but a teacher discouraged him because of his braces. As Marienthal progressed, his father bought him a $400 Selmer saxophone and enrolled him in Corona Del Mar High School.[3] Throughout his education, Marienthal also learned to play guitar (in grade school), flute, clarinet (both high school) and piano (college).[4]

After graduating from high school in Southern California in 1976, he studied at the Berklee College of Music,[5] where he studied with the saxophone professor, Joe Viola.[4] By the time he left Berklee, Eric had achieved the highest proficiency rating given by the school.[6] In 1995 Eric was awarded the Berklee Distinguished Alumnus Award for outstanding achievements in contemporary music. He has since gone on to perform in over 65 different countries, recorded 13 solo CDs and has played on hundreds of records, films, television shows and commercial jingles.[citation needed]

Marienthal started his professional career in 1980 with famed New Orleans trumpeter Al Hirt.[1] After returning to Los Angeles, Eric became a member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band.[1] Marienthal has stated that he was a Chick Corea fan even before he started performing with him.[3] He recorded 6 CDs with that band and 2 of those CDs were Grammy award winners.

Six of the songs that Marienthal has recorded have made it to the top 10 of the National Contemporary Jazz Radio Charts and two have made it to No. 1. His "Oasis" CD hit the top 5 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. Shortly after that, he was voted one of the year's "Favorite Alto Sax Players" in Jazziz Magazine's Reader's Poll along with David Sanborn and Phil Woods.[citation needed]

Marienthal has also written 3 instructional books, "Comprehensive Jazz Studies & Exercises", "The Ultimate Jazz Play Along" and "The Music Of Eric Marienthal" as well as 3 instructional videos, "Play Sax From Day One", "Modern Sax" and "Tricks of the Trade", all published by Warner Brothers Publications, which is now Alfred Publishing/Belwin Jazz. Every summer since 1999, he has put on an annual fundraising concert for High Hopes Head Injury Program, a non-profit organization in Orange County, California that works with people who have suffered traumatic head injuries.[7][8]

Marienthal currently occupies the lead alto chair of Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band,[2] playing alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, and piccolo. Marienthal is married to his wife of thirty years, Lee Ann; the couple have two children.[3]

In 2012, Marienthal released the album It's Love, produced by guitarist Chuck Loeb, who also appears on the tracks. The studio band includes keyboardist Russell Ferrante, drummer Gary Novak, and bassist Tim Lefebvre.[9]


-Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone with a Beechler Metal No. 7 mouthpiece and 'Rico H ligature' ligature
-Yamaha Custom Z Alto Saxophone with a Beechler Metal No. 7 mouthpiece and 'Olegature' ligature
[4] -Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone with a Berg Larsen Metal 100/2 mouthpiece and Brancher ligature
-Yamaha YSS 62 Soprano Saxophone with a Selmer Super Session #H mouthpiece and Harrison ligature
[4] -Muramatsu Flute

-Vandoren traditional 2.5 reeds[10]


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

  • 1997: Collection (GRP)


  1. ^ a b c Yanow, Scott. "Eric Marienthal bio at". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  2. ^ a b Russell, Stefene (2013-02-13). "Grammy Award-Winning Sax Player Eric Marienthal Headlines Friday's Autumn Hill Jazz Festival at the Sheldon". Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  3. ^ a b c d Sauro, Tony (2013-12-09). "Jazz man lets the music do talking". Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Richmond, Kim (September–October 1996). "Eric Marienthal" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  5. ^ "Press release". Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  6. ^ "Biography". Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  7. ^ Kohlhaase, Bill (1999-06-29). "Key of Gee". Retrieved 2013-11-29. 
  8. ^ Georges, Steve (2013-08-28). "Eye on O.C.: Jazzman jams with his friends and High Hopes benefits from the camaraderie". Retrieved 2013-11-29. 
  9. ^ "It's Love – Eric Marienthal". Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  10. ^ "Eric's Equipment". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 

External links[edit]