Marty Marsala

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Marty Marsala
Marty Marsala.jpg
Marty Marsala and Bud Freeman.
Photo: William P. Gottlieb.
Background information
Birth nameMarty Marsala
Born(1909-04-02)April 2, 1909
OriginChicago, Illinois
DiedApril 27, 1975(1975-04-27) (aged 66)
Associated actsSidney Bechet
Earl Hines

Marty Marsala (2 April 1909 – 27 April 1975) was an American jazz trumpeter born in Chicago, perhaps best known for working from 1926-1946 with his brother Joe Marsala in a big band in New York City and Chicago. He had also toured with various artists, such as Chico Marx and Miff Mole, to name a few. During the 1940s Marsala was a celebrated West Coast jazz trumpeter, commuting back and forth from Chicago to San Francisco frequently. In various club settings Marsala shared stages with Earl Hines and Sidney Bechet.


Marty Marsala began his professional career playing drums for bands led by Joe Bananas and Red Feilen in Chicago. During the 1920s he switched to the trumpet and soon joined his brother Joe Marsala's band in New York City following years as a freelance musician in Chicago, trumpeting for them from 1936 to 1941. In 1937 and 1938 he also worked with Bob Howard and Tempo King.[1][2]

He worked with the Will Hudson Orchestra and then led a local band for a while, joining Chico Marx's band and playing for them from 1942 to 1943; the band was technically led by Ben Pollack, but performed under Marx's name. He served briefly in the United States Army from 1944–1945. After service he toured between San Francisco and Chicago, playing lots of dixieland with his brother again as well as Miff Mole and Tony Parenti. He became especially popular in California during these years. In 1955 he moved permanently to San Francisco and began leading his own groups and recording with Kid Ory and Earl Hines. During the 1960s his health deteriorated and he retired from performing in 1965, never recording under his own name.[3][4]


Year Album Leader Label
1936 "Tempo King" Tempo King Timeless Records
1955 "At Club Hangover" Earl Hines Storyville Records
1999 "The Complete Kid Ory Verve Sessions" Kid Ory Verve Records
1936–1942 Joe Marsala: 1936-1942 Joe Marsala Classics Records


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott (2001). Trumpet Kings: The Players Who Shaped the Sound of Jazz Trumpet. Backbeat Books. p. 244. ISBN 0-87930-608-4.
  2. ^ Fairweather, Digby (1995). Jazz: The Rough Guide. Penguin Books. pp. 409–410. ISBN 1-85828-137-7.
  3. ^ "Ibid";Yanow, Scott
  4. ^ "Ibid"; Fairweather, Digby