Drawing from a profound love for music and fueled by a relentless pursuit of creativity, Marion Meadows has carved out an impressive legacy in the realm of jazz. Born in West Virginia and raised in Connecticut, Meadows has been enchanting the world with his masterful soprano saxophone performances and compositions, mainly within the smooth jazz genre. A standout in the industry, Meadows has an exceptional track record of successful releases and international tours that have made him a favorite among smooth jazz enthusiasts.
Meadows’ musical journey began at the tender age of eight when he first picked up the clarinet and started studying classical music. However, during his high school years, he found his true calling with the soprano saxophone. His passion for diverse music styles led him to appreciate an array of jazz musicians, including Stanley Turrentine, Sidney Bechet, Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington, and Coleman Hawkins. From an aspiring pre-med student with an interest in veterinary medicine or zoology, Meadows transitioned into a full-fledged musician after performing in Europe with his high school band and experiencing the exhilarating power of audience interaction.
Having honed his craft under the guidance of jazz stalwarts such as Anthony Truglia, Joe Henderson, Dave Liebman, and Eddie Daniels, Meadows majored in arranging and composition at Berklee College of Music before proceeding to the SUNY Purchase School for the Arts. His professional journey took off when his song ‘Invitation’ was recorded by drummer Norman Connors, who later invited Meadows to join his band.
Meadows’ breakthrough moment came quite unexpectedly at New York’s Grand Central Station. Playing his saxophone under the station’s vast dome, he captured the attention of TV composer Jay Chattaway. Impressed by Meadows’ talent, Chattaway introduced him to legendary keyboardist Bob James, who signed Meadows to his TappanZee label. Although Meadows’ first recording wasn’t released, this experience significantly propelled him towards his successful solo career.
Over the years, Meadows has collaborated with a multitude of artists, showcasing his versatility and earning recognition as a respected sideman. He has shared stages or recording studios with the likes of Brook Benton, Eartha Kitt, Phyllis Hyman, Jean Carne, The Temptations, Michael Bolton, Angela Bofill, Will Downing, and Douglas Spotted Eagle, among others. His solo career took off in the ’90s with RCA, marking the beginning of his journey as a staple of the smooth jazz format.
Relocating from Connecticut to Phoenix, Arizona, Meadows continued to captivate audiences with his artistic prowess. Signing with Heads Up International, he released a series of albums, each demonstrating his unique blend of jazz, R&B, and hip-hop, and cementing his reputation for cool sophistication. With a discography that spans decades and a fan base that continues to grow, Marion Meadows stands as a testament to the power of passion and the enduring appeal of smooth jazz.
Page last updated 5/21/2023.