Eric Marienthal is a renowned American saxophonist known for his smooth jazz sound and technical virtuosity. Born on December 19, 1957 in Sacramento, California, Marienthal developed an early interest in music, learning to play the piano and clarinet as a child before switching to the saxophone.
Marienthal’s early career was shaped by his experience playing in the Stan Kenton Orchestra, with whom he toured and recorded in the early 1980s. He went on to become a sought-after session musician, playing on recordings by artists such as Elton John, Barbra Streisand, and Billy Joel.
In 1986, Marienthal released his debut solo album, “Voices of the Heart,” which was followed by a string of successful albums in the smooth jazz genre, including “Round Trip” (1989), “Safari” (1991), and “Easy Street” (1997).
Marienthal has also collaborated with other musicians, including keyboardist Chick Corea and guitarist Lee Ritenour. He has won multiple Grammy Awards for his work as a session musician and as a member of the contemporary jazz group The Rippingtons.
In addition to his career as a performer, Marienthal is also an accomplished educator, having served as a faculty member at the Berklee College of Music and the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He has also authored instructional books and videos on saxophone technique.
Marienthal continues to perform and record music to this day, and has established himself as one of the most influential saxophonists in contemporary jazz.
Page last updated 3/26/2023.