Tina Marsh

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Tina Marsh
Birth nameKristin Conway Marsh
Born(1954-01-18)January 18, 1954
Annapolis, Maryland, U. S.
DiedJune 16, 2009(2009-06-16) (aged 55)
Austin, Texas
Years active1979–2009
LabelsCreOp Muse

Tina Marsh (January 18, 1954,[1] – June 16, 2009)[2] was a jazz vocalist and composer based in Austin, Texas. She was the creative director of the Creative Opportunity Orchestra, a large jazz ensemble which she founded in 1980.[3][4]

Marsh was born in Annapolis, Maryland.[2] During the late-1970s, she worked as an actor in musical theatre in and around New York City and Philadelphia.[4] While living in New York, she began forming ideas about jazz singing. After moving to Austin, Marsh attended concerts by Anthony Braxton and Sam Rivers at Armadillo World Headquarters.[4] These performances inspired her to form her first professional group, New Visions Ensemble, with Alex Coke, Rock Savage, Booka Michel, and Horatio Rodriguez.[4]

In 1980, at the suggestion of Charlie Haden, Marsh studied at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York.[4] Upon returning to Austin, she formed the Creative Opportunity Orchestra with the members of New Visions Ensemble at its core.[4] CO2 began as a cooperative organization, similar to the AACM, though Marsh gradually assumed a managerial role and became the group's director.[4]

Marsh went on to perform with Carla Bley, Hamiett Bluiett, Vinny Golia, Dennis González, Billy Hart, Roscoe Mitchell, Steve Swallow, and Kenny Wheeler.[3][4] Marsh and the ensemble performed at the Laguna Gloria amphitheater in Austin.[4] She was a participant in the Austin Jazz Workshop.

In 1994, Marsh was diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer.[5] In February 2008, she learned that the cancer had returned and metastasized, though she continued to record and perform later in the year.[1][6] Marsh died on June 16, 2009.[2] She continued to perform up to two months before her death.[7]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2000, the Austin Chronicle inducted Marsh into its Texas Music Hall of Fame.[8][9] In 2008, the Austin Critics Table inducted Marsh into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame.[10]

The Austin History Center maintains a collection of Marsh's papers.[11]

C. Michael Bailey of All About Jazz described Marsh's music as "progressive big band, a kind of marriage between the avant-garde and postmodern classical. Marsh, like [Carla] Bley, favors low brass in assembly and solos. She uses her voice in a creative Meredith Monk sort of way that is not unattractive."[12]


  1. ^ a b Rosenblatt, Josh. "Tina Marsh". Austin Music Database. Austin Chronicle Corp. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Buchholz, Brad (June 17, 2009). "Creativity poured out of her like the scent of honeysuckle". Austin American-Statesman.
  3. ^ a b "About". Tina Marsh & the Creative Opportunity Orchestra. Archived from the original on 2008-05-05. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Van Trikt, Ludwig (December 2005). "Tina Marsh interview, January 31, 2005, Austin, TX". Cadence Magazine. Vol. 31, no. 12. Redwood, New York: Cadnor. pp. 12–19. ISSN 0162-6973.
  5. ^ Hernandez, Raoul (June 8, 1995). "CO2's Tina Marsh: The Perils of Jazz". Austin Chronicle. Austin, TX: Austin Chronicle Corp. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
  6. ^ Powell, Austin (1 February 2008). "Off the Record". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  7. ^ Brad, Buchholz (5 September 2009). "Once more, for Tina". Austin American-Statesman. Austin, TX. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  8. ^ "Bios". Tina Marsh & the Creative Opportunity Orchestra. Archived from the original on 2010-01-12. Retrieved February 27, 2008.
  9. ^ "Austin Chronicle Music Poll Hall of Fame inductees". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved February 27, 2008.
  10. ^ Faires, Robert (April 25, 2008). "Austin Arts Hall of Fame: Class of 2008". Austin Chronicle. Austin, Texas. Retrieved August 19, 2008.
  11. ^ "Tina Marsh Papers: An Inventory of the Collection". Texas Archival Resources Online. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  12. ^ Bailey, C. Michael (1 June 2000). "Tina Marsh and the Creative Opportunity Orchestra (CO2): The Heaven Line/World Wide". All About Jazz. Retrieved 30 August 2018.

External links[edit]