Current Itinerary

Join us at our gigs open to the public!



Marshall Vente Duo
Every Friday@ 7pm

Bassist Jim Batson or guitarist Glenn Reitsma or bassist Scott Mason

Coopers Hawk Winery

510 Village Center Drive, Burr Ridge, IL 60527
Call 630-887-0123 for info and reservations

www.coopershawkwinery.com

 

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Jazz Brunch Every Sunday! 11am-2pm
"Jazz Brunch"Marshall Vente Trio


Half Day Brewing
6200 Village Green, Half Day Rd and Milwaukee Ave, Lincolnshire, IL
www.fitzgeraldsnightclub.com
www.marshallvente.com/octet.htmlwww.halfdaybrewing.com

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Contact Marshall for itinerary updates.

marshallvente@comcast.net
630-968-3339
630-430-5113 (cell)

 



Cool Links!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmXraOvvmLc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3J9zsfNKhc&feature=youtu.be

http://www.sothproductions.com/index.html

http://www.chicagojazz.com/magazine/marianos.-marshall-vente-jazz...-and-groceries!-1388.html

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Listen to Jazz Tropicale on 90.9fm WDCB

"Its a Jazz show with a few palm trees!" Heard every Sunday at 10pm (CST) on 90.0fm WDCB, and streamed workdwide on www.wdcb.org

Special Thanks to Chicago Jazz Magazine!

www.chicagojazz.com/marianos

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Call now for black tie "special events" music!


Marshall Vente Band - dance and party music
Tropicale - Brazilian, Latin & Caribbean
Chicago Blues Review - all blues
Solo piano, Duos, Trios & Quartets
New Marshall Vente Octet - exciting fun jazz
TWO: vocalist Joannie Pallatto & Marshall Vente

 

 

Marshall Vente Octet 

Fun Jazz, original arrangements
and the best musicians.

Octet logo

Live music for concerts, festivals, clubdates and educational clinics.

Arranged, conducted and produced by Marshall Vente. Featuring:

Trumpet and Flugelhorn: Terry Connell. Greg Duncan or Tom Tallman
Trombone: John Mose or Tom Garling
Saxophones and flutes:
Jim Massoth, Jack Baron, Brian Gephart & Chip Gdalman
Bass: Jim Batson, Scott Mason or Curt Bley
Drums: Steve Shebar or Isi Perez
Piano and electric piano: Marshall Vente
Special guest percussionist: Alejo Poveda

“After 40 years of attending live jazz events around the world and seeing such greats as Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Art Pepper, Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Quartet, and clocking up thousands of listening hours, I have reached the stage where I have become a little blasé about the quality of the inventiveness of some of the offerings of the current jazz scene. However, on October 10th when Marshall Vente came to perform at the Brookfield Jazz Society with his newly-formed octet, I knew after the first few bars that my ears would get a well-deserved treat that night, and I was not wrong; the varied musical selections were superbly arranged by Marshall, enabling the band to then turn each piece into a mini work of art.”  Ian Tiele, President of the Brookfield Jazz Society, Editor of the IAJRC Journal

Click on the links below to listen to our music:

Three and One

Blues and Greens

Stone Flower

Take Five

Think of One

 

 

Marshall Vente
Contact Marshall Vente (630) 968-3339
The best in dance, party and cocktail music!

Holiday Parties with:

Solo piano to ensembles

Background music to full show

All dance and party music

Legendary pop tunes

Today’s hits

Classic rock & roll

Motown, R & B and blues

Tribute to Steely Dan

Jazz trio, big band and swing

Brazilian, Latin and Caribbean

Holiday strings for strolling

 

Plus we love the holiday repertoire!
Our music brings elegance and excitement to your party - plus,
joy and happiness to your life!

Marshall Vente
Contact Marshall Vente (630) 968-3339
The best in dance, party and cocktail music!

 

Call now for holiday special events!
With the Marshall Vente Band, Tropic
ale, Chicago
Blue Review, MV Trio/Quartet
, Solo piano, duos,
Caribbean sounds, strings etc!

 

Listen to Jazz Tropicale on 90.9fm WDCB

"Its a Jazz show with a few palm trees!" Heard every Sunday at 10pm (CST) on 90.0fm WDCB, and streamed workdwide on www.wdcb.org

 

NEW Marshall Vente Online Store
http://www.mmsies.com/clients/marshallvente/store

Download arragements and tracks from many of our recordings!

 

Listen to Jazz Tropicale on 90.9fm WDCB

"Its a Jazz show with a few palm trees!" Heard every Sunday at 10pm (CST) on 90.0fm WDCB, and streamed workdwide on www.wdcb.org

 

NEW Marshall Vente Online Store
http://www.mmsies.com/clients/marshallvente/store

Download arragements and tracks from many of our recordings!


The Marshall Vente Band, Tropicale,
Chicago Blues Review & MV
Trio
PSolo piano, duos, Caribbean sounds, strings, etc.

Listen to the band online www.marshallvente.com/orchestra.html

"Marshall wears all of his hats with equal flair: keyboardist, composer, arrranger and even DJ. He also leads five ensembles on a regular basis." - Neil Tesser, Critic's Choice, Chicago Reader

 

 

Video of the July 8th Cruise

 

photos by Jon Randolph taken on July 8th 2012 Tall Ship Windy Jazz Cruise


 

NEW Marshall Vente Online Store
http://www.mmsies.com/clients/marshallvente/store

 

The Marshall Vente Band, Tropicale,
Chicago Blues Review & MV
Trio
Perform dance and party music for black tie special events...charity galas, fundraisers, corporate events, banquets, celebrations, weddings and such!

Old school to new school! Sinatra to Buble, Motwon to Beyonce, classic rock tto Black Eyed Pease...most of the great music of the last 70 years!

Listen to the band online www.marshallvente.com/orchestra.html

 

Study Music with Marshall
Jazz piano, arranging and composing for musical ensembles.
Improvisation for nearly all instruments. Call 630-968-3339

"From the land of the Cubs , White Sox and a whipping wind comes an arranger with an original brainy approach to standards, non standards and an original or two. It's Vente's fresh touch as a composer, arranger and leader that separaes him from the pack." ~ Lee Jeske, Cashbox

 

Marshall Vente Band
“Performs dance and party music for balck tie special events...charity galas, fundraisers, corporate events, banquets, celebrations, weddings and such! Old school to new school! Sinatra to Michael Buble, Motown to Beyonce, Classic Rock to Black Eyed Peas...most fo the great musci of the last 70 years!

Listen to the band online at
http://marshallvente.com/orchestra.html

 

Listen to Jazz Tropicale on 90.9fm WDCB

"Its a Jazz show iwth a few palm trees!" Heard every Sunday at 10pm (CST) on 90.0fm WDCB, and streamed workdwide on www.wdcb.org

 

 

“Marshall Arts”
Our Current CD

Marshall’s compositions, trios and guests, produced by www.chicagosessions.com
Clearly one of the elite trio albums around, “Marshall Arts” blends a sophisticated version of straight-ahead jazz with tender bossa rhythms in one nice musical package  that one will surely get a kick out of.” - Ed Blanco www.ejazznews.com

) 268 7873

Introducing the Tropicale Duo
photo

Pianist Marshall Vente &
Acoustic guitarist Glenn Reitsma

Performing a unique spellbinding mix of
 Brazilian, Latin and American jazz …

Composers include Antonio Carlos Jobim, Villa Lobos,
 Ivan Lins, Marcos Valle, Joao Donato, Milton Nascimento,
Joao Bosco, Luiz Eca & Tamba 4 and others …

We’re playing intriguing music surrounded by fine art, including the nautical subjects of Charles Vickery … refreshments too!

Listen to Jazz Tropicale on 90.9 fm WDCB
“It’s a jazz show with a few palm trees!” Heard every Sunday at 10 pm CST on 90.9 fm WDCB and streamed worldwide on www.wdcb.org

Chicago Sessions
Now accepting subscriptions. Visit www.chicagosessions.com for more information

Our New CD "Marshall Arts"
Contact Marshall at 630-968-3339.
A single copy, $20. – I’ll mail it anywhere to you!
Our reviews in Downbeat, ChicagoJazz.com & ejazznews:

www.chicagojazz.com
www.ejazznews.com
www.allaboutjazz.com
Playboy Holiday Gift Guide

Marshall Vente
Contact Marshall Vente (630) 968-3339
The best in dance, party and cocktail music!

Holiday Parties with:

Solo piano to ensembles

Background music to full show

All dance and party music

Legendary pop tunes

Today’s hits

Classic rock & roll

Motown, R & B and blues

Tribute to Steely Dan

Jazz trio, big band and swing

Brazilian, Latin and Caribbean

Holiday strings for strolling

Plus, we love the holiday repertoire!
Our music brings elegance and excitement to your party – plus, joy and happiness to your life!  Yes, I have a Santa suit for all good parties. Visit the holiday page on my website, including some sound samples, see Marshall’s Ensembles.

Hear the Marshall Vente Band online at
www.MarshallVente.com/orchestra
Specializing in corporate parties, weddings and black tie galas.

Pictures from Jazz Tropicale July 12th 2009
Photos taken by Jon Randolph

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NEW – MV Band “Tribute to Steely Dan”
The Marshall Vente Band has been contracted to play a concert set of the music of Steely Dan at Darienfest on September 10th. We’ll be performing some of our favorite music including: Reelin’ In the Years, Black Cow, Babylon Sisters, Josie, Peg, Aja, Ricky Don’t Lose That Number, Do It Again …


Click the album cover above for rmore info

 

 

An Interview with Marshall Vente
in Jazz Improv Magazine!

Marshall Vente was interviewed recently for the Jazz Improv Magazine

Here is the article

Jazz Improv Magazine Interview
Answers from Marshall Vente

1. Tell us about the kind so background and inspiration that drove you to pursue this creative path: Both sides of my family immigrated from the Netherlands to the south side of Chicago in the early part of the last century. Nearly everyone on my Mother's side played the piano, either for church or as my Dad used to say, "for their own amazement." My mother was the only real professional musician, working as a church organist. Although one of my Dad's brothers also played violin professionally, and learned to double on sax (then a new instrument) playing gigs in the late '20's, but his musical career was cut short in the '30's. Whenever there was a family occasion the piano got a real workout, and eventually, I too became a part of this. I always enjoyed listening to music, even at 5 years old with my little record player. I used to watch Spike Jones on TV with my Dad and loved the way they combined humor and music. Following my mandatory piano lessons I was drawn to jazz through AM radio (I heard some guy with an interesting name, Miles) and hearing it live while on a family vacation at the New Yorker Hotel in NYC. I was totally hooked on jazz by the time I was 12!

2. Between 1982 and 1987 you were a recipient of a NEA sponsored jazz apprenticeship in NYC with composer-arranger Gil Evans and David Matthews in New York. What was involved, and or what processes occurred in your winning those grants? I had read about the NEA helping jazz musicians in Downbeat in the late '60's. Unlike today, individuals could apply for grant support. I had already been composing and arranging since high school and college and decided to try to round out my education with a NEA jazz apprenticeship. At that time I felt that I had more to contribute to music as an arranger/composer than a pianist. Along with Gil Evans, I loved Dave Matthews' modern writing so I spent an afternoon tracking him down and eventually got him on the phone at Charloff Studios. Dave gave me Gil's phone number so I called him too, if only to double my chances. After hearing my demo both were supportive of my writing and the possibility of helping me via a grant but we had to wait about a year for the NEA decision. I was both very surprised and elated that the NEA awarded me funds to study with both Gil and Dave! I was even more surprised when they funded a second apprenticeship grant. Although both were to be one year of duration, I used a little more creativity to stretch the funds over a five-year period. Following my final reports and such I was also awarded composer grants from both the NEA in '87 and the Illinois Arts Council in '85 and '87. Some of this material was performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival and other high exposure gigs.

3. Could you share some of the ideas about composition, or the interplay between harmony, melody and rhythm that might have emerged in your discussions with Gil Evans or David Matthews? Both Gil and Dave expanded my musical horizons by playing and discussing important jazz and classical recordings that had an influence on them, some of their works and score analysis. We also spent a considerable time at the piano discussing the process of finding interesting voicing of chords and how to assign them to various instruments. Every session would also include analysis of my most recent charts and ideas on how to make them more effective. I told Gil that I didn't want "to be Gil," I only wanted to learn how to "think like Gil." Dave was also a tough taskmaster, assigning me exercises in counterpoint, which would help improve my overall writing. All of these activities would lead us into all elements of harmony, counterpoint and rhythm, discussion that would often last all day. To this day, I'm so thankful to both Gil and Dave. They met with me for the art, not for the money. Apart from honing these technical skills, what eventually emerged was the importance of finding a real melody that nearly anyone could enjoy, and how to frame it into an arrangement that has an original sound. This also forced me to set some very high standards for my own writing and improved my analysis of what others were doing.

4. Tell us about some of the significant observations you made, experiences you had, and or key conversations or ideas Evans shared with you when you apprenticed, and how those have impacted your music and creative approach. Gil was very concerned with the conservative approach that was entering the jazz world in the '80's. He had numerous offers to re-create his work of the past but little to no interest in anything new that he could create. One of his favorite lines was that "jazz is being put into the museum." Also, "the big band will become a period piece (like the string quartet)," limited to the music of the '30's, '40's and '50's. Despite the success of his Monday night band at Sweet Basil, he only considered it a jam session. All of this helped shape my decision to continue to try and create something new and original, despite the odds of any financial success. I have written commercial arrangements for all sorts of clients and media in order to survive, but my long-term focus remains on writing original music and arrangements. I think that Gil would be even more disappointed today with the attention and overemphasis of repertory bands re-creating the past and the new conservative approach to jazz radio programming. Sometimes it seems that the last 30 years of musical development is totally ignored. The smooth jazz concept is usually not jazz at all, just today's edition of Muzak. To me, jazz is creative music, the home of the free and brave, no more or less. Plus, my promise to Gil was to help keep jazz out of the museum.

5. Could you tell us about your long-standing association with Chicago bassist Eldee Young, who played with Ramsey Lewis? After the break-up of the original Ramsey Lewis Trio and Young-Holt Unlimited I would often see Eldee and his group playing some of the same venues we were playing in Chicago. We became great friends and started playing together in about 1987, but didn't start recording until '99, mainly because Eldee spends about half of every year playing steady gigs in the Far East (Singapore, Bangkok, Indonesia, China and Korea). Our recordings, The Long and Short of Jazz, Marshall Law, and Step Up to the Mic, received some attention and national airplay for a few reasons. Before our CDs Eldee's vocals were not known, much less featured; his solid bass playing (in the Ray Brown tradition) is melded with my arrangements; and, thankfully, even people who don't like jazz love us.

6. Tell us about your association with tenor saxophonist Billy Harper? To me, Billy Harper is one of the true innovators of the tenor because he has both an original sound and approach to his solos. He's no copycat, off the rack tenor player. I was always a big fan of his and wrote tunes with him in mind, as early as the '80's. Despite being in NYC and his tenure with Gil, I never met him until '90 when he was playing a gig in Chicago, across the street from one of my gigs. But I guess I wasn't quite ready for him because I didn't invite him to play with us until around '99. Since then we have collaborated every year at my annual festival at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago. Our agreement and mission is to only play our original music, no standards, no overworked jazz tunes and such. At present we have a library of about thirty new works for my expanded nonet, Project 9 (2 trumpets, bone, tuba, three saxes with all doubles, five rhythm and Billy). Along the way, we relaxed our agreement for a moment and I arranged three Coltrane tunes and Senora by Hampton Hawes. Just as I love Billy's playing, he enjoys my music and trusts me to write all of the arrangements, including those on his tunes. He has also said to many that he "feels the vibe and spirit of Gil" when were working. Also, thanks to Tom Tallman, director of jazz studies at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois; I received a commission to expand eight of these Project 9 arrangements to the traditional big band instrumentation plus tuba. Billy and I, along with Tom and the McAninch Arts Center Jazz Ensemble presented this music in concert in 2003 and filled the house, proof that the listeners can handle new music. Given the tough economics of the big band business, I only hope that we can play these arrangements again with other similar hard hitting professional big bands, wherever they are! Of course we have to record with Billy, it's inevitable. Our music is strong and must be heard. I felt that we were close just after our appearance at the Chicago Jazz Festival but 9/11 intervened and the music business, like everything else, has not been the same since.

7. How did Project 9 develop? What kinds of approaches did you take in your arranging for it? I gravitated to the nonet concept in the late '70's because it had the strength and possibilities of a big band plus the flexibility of a combo. Since there were plenty of combos and rehearsal bands around Chicago, I thought that we could bring something different to the community. The original band was three saxes with all doubles, two trumpets, bone, piano, bass and drums. Our first chart was Mingus' Fables of Faubus and our first rehearsal was (then unknown to us) on the day Mingus passed away. My original concept was to arrange modern jazz tunes (Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Coltrane and others), a few standards and some originals as an effort to update the repertoire for a large, but not big, band. Over the years, as different gigs came our way we added vocals, guitar and percussion; and expanded the library to reflect my growing and changing interests to incorporate everything into our world of creative music that included Latin, Brazilian, pop, blues and more originals. Our '80's records, Endless Intensity, No Net and Alison's Backyard were well received and helped get us better gigs. Later in '01 the Marshall Law CD was released, a compilation of unreleased recordings over 20-years. This was also well received and got us some national airplay. I've also used Project 9 on a few tracks of every CD with Eldee Young. Aside from our jazz and creative stuff, our notoriety in Chicago forced me to take a slight turn to develop a commercial repertoire for charity galas, dances and such. I was always impressed by the ability of the name big bands (like Woody, Duke and Kenton) to play for both audiences and adopted this as one of my background goals.

8. You're involved in a compendium of activities - as a pianist, composer, arranger, radio host and contractor in Chicago. Tell us how you prioritize your activities and the kind of attention each demands. I'm occupied by music and the business 24/7, one has to be to achieve any success. My various musical activities have resulted from being a professional for many years, they were all added incrementally, one-at-a-time. One good gig leads to another. Fortunately, it is a rare occasion that all of these activities occur on the same day and each day is different. I just try to do my best at whatever needs to be done today and plan as best as I can for tomorrow. I still practice the piano and, in terms of prioritizing, nothing can keep me from writing down a new musical idea.

9. Could you talk about your radio show Jazz Tropicale? Around '89 I became a little tired with "straight ahead" jazz found myself turning to my love for Brazilian Latin music. In the '60's I followed both the commercial sounds of Getz and Sergio Mendes, and more esoteric bands like the Tamba 4. I kept up over the years with Elis Regina, Ivan Lins, Djavan, Cesar Carmargo Mariano and Milton Nascimento, this music was becoming a major part of my repertoire. Since Brazilian drummer Luiz Ewerling was living in Chicago I felt that the time was right to form a band to play this material live, so Tropicale came together in '91. This led us to many great gigs around the Midwest, our CD Tropicale (which includes saxophonist Leo Gandelman) and, eventually, five annual concerts with steel drum virtuoso Neville York in St. Maarten and Anguilla. We also recorded two CDs of all original material with Neville, Sweet Salt and Jazz Flamboyant. Project 9 played a few concerts for our local public radio station WDCB 90.9 FM in the '80's and we were great friends. When my Tropicale band was playing their Jazz Wednesday series they asked if I was interested in a radio show. Since one of my life-long interests was Brazilian and Latin jazz (and later Caribbean steel drums) Jazz Tropicale hit the airwaves in '93, every Sunday at 10 pm CST- "It's a jazz show with a few palm trees." Recently we started streaming via www.wdcb.org and started to reach listeners all over the world. Both Tropicale and the radio show, Jazz Tropicale, work with my over-all concepts for music because so much innovation in jazz has come from Brazil and the Latin world. American jazz may be responsible for syncopation and expanding harmony but South America and the Caribbean have expanded our rhythms and given us countless new tunes (from Jobim to Ivan Lins and Milton Nascimento). Plus, no one in that part of the world is afraid to use a synth or any other musical concept that is outside of the perceived definition of what creative music or jazz is supposed to be. Purists are the enemy of the arts, holding back its evolution and development. Check out Jazz Tropicale for a breath of fresh music. Also, thanks to Jazz Tropicale, I'm occasionally expand my role as a broadcaster as a substitute host for Neil Tesser and Mark Ruffin on their AM drive time radio show Miles Ahead. Check out www.MilesAheadJazz.com

10. Could you share with us your perspectives and your views on the significance of thematic material in relation to improvisation? All thematic material, whether within improvisation or an orchestration, helps the listener by giving them something that they might know or understand from somewhere before. This is especially helpful within the context of instrumental music because it gives the soloist a bit of a purpose, rather than reciting patterns and running the scales. Eldee Young is a master of this idea, with a solid classical education and 50 years of playing jazz at a high level. He is always bringing a quote or motif of some other distantly related tune. Why not use "Being Green" somewhere in "Green Dolphin Street?" I wanted to bring The Christmas Song into the Latin idiom so I combined it with Dizzy's "Manteca" - a very unlikely combination that worked! Similarly, I quoted about a dozen Monk tunes into an original chart entitled "Monk's Still Here." Why not?

11. How do you use encouragement among the artists and others with whom you work? I always make an effort to compliment everyone on his or her performance, at every gig. If there is something I don't care for I tell them privately, rather than embarrass them in front of others, and express my thoughts. But greater encouragement can occur on the bandstand with nods of approval and vocal support for someone's solo or performance. Despite the serious nature of playing music, I learned how to have more fun on the bandstand from Eldee and the audience loves to see a happy band. Also, I have been blessed with extreme loyalty from my musicians. Drummer Isi Perez has been playing with me since '75 and bassist Scott Mason since '80. Many of those who were in the original Project 9 are still with us today. Best of all, the loyalty from my musicians appears on the bandstand with consistently high musical performances.

12. What are some essential non-musical things that an artist needs to understand, embrace or develop to be at peace with himself, command the respect of others, and/or feel successful (whatever that means). This is difficult to answer, but for me it has been honesty and integrity. Without these qualities you cannot expect to accomplish much, no matter how developed your level of skill. I am very protective of my integrity and never allow it to be tarnished. As a result, I'm trusted in our community and I've been able to accomplish more of my goals with their support. My annual four-day jazz festival (this January marks the 12th consecutive year) hosted by the Jazz Showcase, is privately funded by my friends, clients and, of course, paid admissions. Although a small festival focused on arranger-composer-performers, this type of support is very difficult to achieve.

13. If there is one, could you share a quote or idea (or more than one) that functions as a foundational understanding and daily motivation or inspiration for you? Perhaps a combination of thoughts from different people: to live life is a difficult task, so let's make the best of it, try to accomplish something, have some fun and try not to hurt anyone along the way. This covers a lot of ground. Music has been used to augment every human behavior from healing and love to propaganda. But our finest role is to make our audience feel good, at least somewhat better than when the set started. I never forget that all creative music is still entertainment.

January 11, 2005
Marshall Vente
(630) 968-3339
www.MarshallVente.com

Special thanks to Lake Magazine!
Check out Dave Hoekstra’s article, “The Complicated Mind of Marshall Vente” in the current edition of Lake. The online edition can be found at www.LakeMagazine.com however, the cool summer photos from our July cruise aboard the tall ship Windy can only be found in the printed edition. Contact Lake Magazine for a copy or subscription by writing to Lake Magazine, 701 State Street, LaPorte, IN 46350 or call 219.362.8592

Here is the article

The Complicated Mind of Marshall Vente

Chicago bandleader Marshall Vente and the late pianist-bandleader Gil Evans were more than ships passing in the jazz night. In 1982 Vente was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts jazz apprenticeship with Evans, who made his mark with Miles Davis on the albums “Sketches of Spain” and “Miles Ahead.” Vente studied with Evans and pianist David Mathews for five years at their respective homes in New York City. Evans was a free thinker who explored bop, fusion and Brazilian tempos. As early as 1941 Evans elevated French horns and tuba on the charts he wrote for Claude Thornhill’s Orchestra. This impressed Miles. This also impressed Vente. An avid sailor, Vente has since charted his own course.

Vente plays straight, no-chaser jazz in a trio with Eldee Young, who made his mark in the 1960s with Young-Holt Unlimited. On a larger scope, Marshall Vente & Project 9 celebrates its 25th anniversary this year where Vente fronts a 13-piece ensemble (including an untraditionally jazzy tuba) that can play jazz against reggae beats. The ensemble performs original compositions with tenor saxophonist Billy Harper (who played with Evans), or they can play cover material for corporate dates.

He also leads Marshall Vente & Tropicale, a five-piece ensemble with Brazilian vocalist Rita Duarte, and they cover everything from Soca to Jimmy Buffett. Vente plays blues in the 12-piece Chicago Blues Review that features soul singer Cash McCall and Phil Guy, the younger brother of Buddy Guy. Vente’s conducted quartets and bands for Chuck Berry, Natalie Cole and Jerry Vale as they have come through Chicago.

Vente’s business card says “Hyphenate musician.” The jazz-pop-tropical-blues musician says, “The only way Gil Evans took me on was when I told him, ‘I don’t want to write Gil Evans licks. I just want to learn how to think like Gil Evans.’ From that point on, Gil treated me like a son. Now I’m always searching for my own identity, no matter what I do. I love the sound of surprise. I take risks.”

It’s a steamy summer morning at Vente’s home in southwest suburban Chicago. Vente is standing alongside his cream-colored boat, Summer Jazz Too. His mind is racing, but he stops when he is asked if there are any shared disciplines between sailing and jazz.

“There is a correlation,” Vente says. “I never thought about it until now. An immediate answer would be that both are improvising skills. You have to sail straight lines to get somewhere.” Vente looks across the street in his quiet neighborhood. He continues, “For me to get to that house against the wind would be difficult. I’d have to go up to the top of the block and come in.

It’s very similar in jazz.

“If I want to say a particular thing in a chorus, I can’t just come in and BAM—lay it out. You have to build. That’s usually how you should do it. You can argue that [alto saxophonist] Charlie Parker’s break on ‘Night in Tunisia,’ BAM, it’s there. But he probably thought about that and decided to drop it in.”

Summer Jazz Too is Vente’s third vessel since he took sailing lessons as a student in the tropical paradise of the University of Wisconsin (Oshkosh). He learned how to sail during the winter of 1972 on Lake Winnebago. “After that I had no money, I had my Fender Rhodes and a [tiny] sailfish [boat],”he says.” Vente later upgraded to Summer Jazz. He’s had his current boat since 1985. The sloop daysailer is 6.2 feet wide (the beam) and 15 feet long. “It’s small, but it has cool features like reverse transom, ballasts, adult-sized seats,” he says. “It’s nice for inland lake sailing. Now, if I want to go on a bigger scene, I rent.” Vente has also sailed the Intercoastal waterway in Charleston, S.C. (he rented a 25-foot catalina) and Lake Michigan (on a 42-foot Morgan).

Vente met Ruth Anne, his wife of 32 years, in Oskhosh. They have two grown children—Marsha, a fifth grade teacher in suburban Cicero, and Alison, a DePaul University law student. Most of the family’s sailing friends are not musicians. The Ventes sail with accountants, doctors and nurses. “And not every friend, to use a Seinfeld thing, is ‘Lake Worthy,’” he says. “Maybe they’re allergic to algae. Maybe they don’t like the sun. It takes a special friend to sail on a small boat and drink beer right out of the can.”

Vente makes friends everywhere.

For the past nine summers he has hosted 120 pals on a Jazz Tropicale sunset cruise aboard the 148-foot-tall ship, Windy, on Lake Michigan. In recent months Vente has played the Chikaming Country Club in Harbor Country and now holds fort at the Gale Street Inn, 4914 N Milwaukee Av in Chicago. He’s performed in great Chicago rooms like Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase, the long-gone Bulls nightclub in Lincoln Park, Pops For Champagne and Andy’s. “Most of the clubs went away,” he says with his voice drifting away.

“Drinking has changed. Generations have changed. They’re more interested in getting to work by seven in the morning than staying out until four at night. There was so much innovation in music in the ‘50s through the ‘70s. Now it seems like music is static. I see it in other art forms. Hollywood keeps doing remakes. It is our duty to try and find our own way of playing C minor 7. But it’s more difficult to find somebody that will support original thought. It’s a problem. Fortunately, my taste in music is very diverse. That’s how I survive.”

In mid-January Vente will host his 11th Annual Marshall Vente Jazz Festival at Joe and Wayne Segal’s Jazz Showcase, 59 W Grand in Chicago. A.K.A. “MarshFest,” last year’s festival included pianist Joe Valdes and Descarga, the Judy Roberts Quartet, and of course, the congenial host. “Every year, I ask whoever is playing for me to write something new for the festival,” Vente says. “I don’t care if it’s 12-bar blues. You will never see a ghost band at MarshFest.”

Vente’s accessibility is accented by the fact that he looks like humorist Garrison Keillor. “It’s come up 50 times,” he admits. “But I remind people I have a more developed sense of humor.” And a good place to develop an appreciation for Vente is “Step Up to the Mic” [Middle Coast Records], his 2002 CD with Young.

Vente and Young collaborate on Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “If You Never Come To Me” and serve up a lucid instrumental of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Birks Works.” Vente explains, “In the world of jazz, that record shows what I’m interested in. Trio playing.

Arranging skills. My love of Brazilian music. Howard Levy [who has played with bluegrass virtuoso Bela Fleck, Cuban saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and John Prine, among others] is on the record, and there’s a version of [Horace Silver’s] ‘Song for My Father’ completely decomposed and recomposed.”

In a separate conversation Young adds, “Marshall likes to experiment with a lot of things. Fresh ideas. That keeps me on my toes. It keeps me thinking about what’s coming up next. I have to be wide awake when I’m working with him, because at this point [age 68] you can go to sleep on somebody if they’re not interesting.” Young laughs. Vente finds a place for humor in jazz, which is generally a no-nonsense art form. He says, “All music, whether I’m playing a commmercial job or a high-end jazz gig, should have some humor. I wrote a tune called ‘Monk’s Still Here,’ and within that I quoted a countless number of Monk tunes. There are at least a dozen Monk quotes and influences interwoven into the arrangement. I thought that’s humorous.” Vente’s interests cross over to stuff like swing pianist Dave Frishberg, the author of tunes like “I’m Hip,” “Peel Me a Grape” and “Van Lingle Mungo,” the best jazz tune about a major league baseball player. “My daughter [Alison] is a third year law student at De Paul,” Vente says. “My friends have been saying how I should play the piano and sing [Frishberg’s] ‘My Attorney Bernie’ at her graduation this spring. I’m outrageous enough to try it.”

Vente elaborates, “Modern jazz has advanced from Charlie Parker to Coltrane, and it has become a serious art. And it’s serious to me, too. The content is very serious. It takes a high level of skill to think about it, practice it and perform it. It takes a high level of listener to enjoy it. However, when it is all said and done, it is entertainment. [Jazz drummer] Art Blakey used to say things like, ‘We’re here to knock the dust off the common man’s shoes and send them home happy.’ And he was the most sophisticated musician. You’re there to make people happy. Humor can be as easy as smiling when you’re playing the piano.

“They always said how angry Coltrane was. Gil Evans told me, ‘We suffer from an overuse of convenience at the expense of passion; for 40 years everybody had to play the saxophone like Coleman Hawkins [staccato runs surrounded by lush harmony]. And here comes Coltrane [extreme use of chords in avant garde setting]. He plays different than Coleman Hawkins and everybody hates him. Because it was so convenient to say Coleman Hawkins was the one and only.’ That’s Gil Evans talking. This was history.”

A WHOLE NEW WORLD

Marshall Vente, 53, was born in the Roseland neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. His Great Grandfather was a Dutch sailor. In 1914 his grandparents on his father’s side came to Roseland from Delft, Holland. “There’s very few Dutch people in the business,” Vente says. “Maybe half a dozen.”

Grandfather Johannes was an ornamental blacksmith for the Pullman Company. He worked on the society cars. Vente’s father John, 88, went to Fenger High School in Chicago with celebrated Chicago jazz and country violinist-bassist Johnny Frigo. John Vente was a mechanical engineer who worked all around Chicago. His late wife Alberta was a church organist and pianist. Everyone on her side of the family played piano. “Whenever we had family gatherings the piano was in use,” Vente says. “It wasn’t jazz. It could be pop, a hymn—but there was always music.”

Vente started listening to jazz at age 11 when his peer group was discovering rock n’ roll. “I bought Beatles and Rolling Stones ‘45s,” he says. “But I liked jazz better. I was more into Oscar Peterson. I was into Peter Nero a lot. I still have a record I had of the Peter Nero Trio. Boy, he could play. I was playing a tune with Johnny Frigo on a gig 15, 20 years ago. It had a double-tag [where the player goes up the third, then the sixth of the scale before going back down]. After the gig, Johnny says, ‘Where did you learn that?’ I said, ‘I heard it when I was a kid somewhere.’ And he said, ‘I played that with Joe Vito in the late 1950s on a radio show in Chicago.’” I said, ‘Well, that’s probably where I got it.’”

The Vente family left Roseland in 1963 for west suburban La Grange. John Vente found an empty lot where he designed and built his own house. Marshall attended Lyons Township High School in La Grange, where he started a pop-jazz trio. The group was invited to go to Europe as part of the “Talented Teens U.S.A” tour.

Courtney Love was not on this tour.

“Although my trio didn’t go, I went,” he says. “And one of the other people on that tour coming from the other end of Chicago was Ron Hawking [who headlines a Frank Sinatra tribute in the His Way Theatre in the NBC Tower in Chicago]. We developed a little act, doing the same thing he does today. Actually it was more Jack Jones. As I recall, he was doing ‘Wives and Lovers’ in F minor. Then he’d pick up the guitar and do [the Lovin’ Spoonful’s] ‘Nashville Cats.’ But his love, even back then, was Frank—and Jack Jones.”

Vente now lives with his wife in Darien, not far from La Grange. His basement studio includes a computer, piano, big screen television and pictures of his musical heroes. A big black and white photograph of Dizzy Gillespie’s band from the early 1950s sits above Vente’s desk. The band included Ray Brown on bass, Milt Jackson on piano, and Miles Davis in the dark background. Vente leans over and inspects Dizzy. He says, “Look, we have Duke Ellington on Dizzy’s tie.” Vente pays attention to detail. He is a sailor. An adjacent picture captures Ellington poised with a pencil. “In order to be successful, you better have a pencil in your hand,” Vente says. “You can talk all you want and play all you want, but it takes a certain amount of organizing and thought before the gig to make it happen. That was Duke.”

Vente spins around. He spots a small picture of a clipper ship with the caption: “Risk: A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are made for.” A visitor reads the caption out loud. “That’s right,” Vente says, underscoring the muse. He is not looking at the picture. He looks at his weathered Yahama piano that takes him on a course beyond the sea.

Click below to see the actual article on the Lake Magazine website

http://www.lakemagazine.com

 

All went well at the 12th annual Marshall Vente Jazz Fest!
All played very well, the Chicago audience came by and all had a great time despite the blizzard. Our all-tropical Friday melted the storm outdoors! Maybe we should add jazzy winter sports and snow sculpture next year (smile). Watch for us next January!

 

See Howard Reich’s Review
See www.chicagotribune.com and search for “Tropicale.”
Or click here to view it on our site.

Listen to Jazz Tropicale,
“It’s a jazz show with a few palm trees!” Heard every Sunday at 10 pm CST on WDCB 90.9 FM and streamed worldwide on www.wdcb.org

Listen to Miles Ahead with Neil Tesser:
M-F, 5-7 pm on 1240 & 1470 am. Visit www.milesaheadjazz.com

Eldee Young & Marshall Vente, the Long & Short of Jazz
Are available for special events, festivals and
clubdates in July-September 2004 and February-April 2005.

Special thanks to all those who kept us busy with great gigs over the last four months, including: the Anguilla Jazz Festival, Neville York Gala, the Castle in SMX, APOL Dinner Dance, ZAR Marketing Communications, House of Blues, Pheasant Run Resort, Du Page Children’s Museum Gala, the Foundry, Business Marketing Association, Southport Records, Ken Scott/WDCB, Bruce Keiter, Rotary International, Hinsdale Golf Club, Braxton Seafood Grill and Vincitori. Check out our photo from the recent BMA BizBash at www.bmachicago.org/2003photos.Iasso

Planning a special event with live music?
Apart from our public dates we play a variety of charity galas, corporate gigs, themed special events, cruises, private receptions and parties – all featuring our ensembles with different styles of music, including: Solo piano, duos, trios, quartets & all sized ensembles Background music to full shows with national artists Dance and party music Legendary pop tunes Today’s hits Rock & roll Motown, R & B Chicago Blues Fun jazz, big band and swing Brazilian, Latin and Caribbean

Ask for our NEW CD DEMO!

Contact Marshall at (630) 968-3339!

Jazz Cruise
Aboard the 148’ tall ship"Windy"
(photos from last years (2002) cruise)

Photography by Jon Randolph

Photos may take a moment to download. Thank you for your patience.

 

New CD’s available!
Marshall Law: our 20-year compilation with various editions of Project 9 (with most of the Chicago’s finest musicians) including Eldee Young, Howard Levy, Alejo Poveda and Anna Dawson.

NEW RELEASE: Step Up to the Mic: with the EldeeYoung-Marshall Vente Trio, Project 9 and Tropicale with guest performances from Howard Levy, Paulinho Garcia, Jeff Newell and Rich Corpolongo. Our version of C.C. Rider will keep you swingin’ … and laughing all year! $15. - Per copy, including domestic postage. $20. - For international delivery.

Planning a special event with live music?
We specialize in all music for festivals, dances, galas, charity benefits, receptions, cruises, dinners, et al. Call for a copy of our new dance and party demo CD or the new MVP (Marshall Vente Pop).

  • Marshall Vente Band and Orchestra – dance and party music
  • Chicago Blues Review – the name says it all!
  • Tropicale – for the Latin, Caribbean and Brazilian in you
  • Project 9 – the nonet that sounds like big band.
  • Solo piano, trio and small groups – we customize for you.
  • Eldee Young-Marshall Vente Trio – the best in small group jazz!

Contact Marshall, call (630) 968-3339

You may contact Marshall Vente 
by phone at: (630) 541-3381

Cell phone: (630) 430-5113

or by e-mail at marshallvente@comcast.net

 

Marshall Vente 
P.O. Box 1135
Westmont, IL 60559

This web site was designed by John Miles. Web site maintained by christine jeffers web design