Tina Marsh

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Tina Marsh
Born (1954-01-18)January 18, 1954
Annapolis, Maryland, US
Origin Austin, Texas, US
Died June 16, 2009(2009-06-16) (aged 55)
Austin, Texas
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) singer, bandleader, composer
Instruments singing, scat singing, extended techniques
Years active 1979–2009
Labels CreOp Muse
Associated acts Creative Opportunity Orchestra (CO2)
Website CreOp.org at the Wayback Machine (archive index)

Tina Marsh (January 18, 1954,[1] - June 16, 2009[2]) was a jazz vocalist and composer based in Austin, Texas. Marsh was the creative director of the Creative Opportunity Orchestra (or CO2), a large jazz ensemble which she founded in 1980.[3][4] In 2000, the Austin Chronicle inducted Marsh into its Texas Music Hall of Fame.[5][6] In 2008, the Austin Critics Table inducted Marsh into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame.[7] C. Michael Bailey of All About Jazz has 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."[8]

Marsh was born in Annapolis, Maryland.[2] During the late-1970s, Marsh 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 and CO2 went on to perform with artists such as Carla Bley, Hamiett Bluiett, Vinny Golia, Dennis González, Billy Hart, Roscoe Mitchell, Steve Swallow, and Kenny Wheeler.[3][4] Marsh and the ensemble regularly performed at the Laguna Gloria lakeside amphitheater in Austin.[4] Marsh was a participant in the Austin Jazz Workshop.

In 1994, Marsh was diagnosed with, and treated for, breast cancer.[9] In February 2008, Marsh learned that the cancer had returned and metastasized, though she continued to record and perform later in the year.[1][10] Marsh died on June 16, 2009.[2] She had continued to perform up to two months prior to her death.[11]

The Austin History Center maintains a collection of Marsh's papers.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Austin Music Database". Austin Chronicle. Austin Chronicle Corp. Retrieved 19 August 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c Buchholz, Brad (17 June 2009). "'Creativity poured out of her like the scent of honeysuckle'". Austin360.com. Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 17 June 2009. [dead link]
  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, NY: Cadnor Ltd. pp. 12–19. ISSN 0162-6973. 
  5. ^ "Bios". Tina Marsh & the Creative Opportunity Orchestra. Archived from the original on 2010-01-12. Retrieved 27 February 2008. 
  6. ^ "Austin Chronicle Music Poll Hall of Fame inductees". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 27 February 2008. 
  7. ^ Faires, Robert (25 April 2008). "Austin Arts Hall of Fame: Class of 2008". Austin Chronicle. Austin, TX: Austin Chronicle Corp. Retrieved 19 August 2008. 
  8. ^ Bailey, C. Michael (1 June 2000). "The Heaven Line / World Wide". All About Jazz. Retrieved 16 May 2008. 
  9. ^ Hernandez, Raoul (8 June 1995). "CO2's Tina Marsh: The Perils of Jazz". Austin Chronicle. Austin, TX: Austin Chronicle Corp. Retrieved 15 May 2008. 
  10. ^ Powell, Austin (1 February 2008). "Off the Record". Austin Chronicle. Austin, TX: Austin Chronicle Corp. Retrieved 15 May 2008. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ "Tina Marsh Papers: An Inventory of the Collection". Texas Archival Resources Online. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 

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