Click the above buttons for more information
about the various groups, ensembles and projects that Marshall Vente
is involved with.
Billy Harper with Project 9
Project 9 at the Jazz Showcase in '97
Project 9 at Chicagofest '81 at Navy Pier
Project 9 at NEOCON at the Civic Opera House
Project 9 has two repetoires: an all original
book for concerts, festivals and club dates; and , an all commercial
book for parties, events and receptions ... party music too!
The following are sample soundbytes of Project
9 in action
"Bulls In The Night"
Celebrating its 20th year, three recordings,
and hundreds of public appearances, Project 9 is the small band
with a big punch and endless intensity.
Quotes, Reviews and Endorsements
for Project 9
"The attentive and hard working
Pro 9 attacks the charts and packs the air with excitement"
-Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat
"Marshall Vente wears all his hats
with equal flair: keyboardist, composer, arranger, even DJ (he
hosts a Brazilian-music program on WDCB). He also leads
five ensembles on a regular basis, but this little big band,
now in its 20th year, is the granddaddy. Don't let the
name fool you: it's really Vente's Project Nine Plus (originally
a nonet, it's since grown to an even dozen), gussied up with
premillennial nomenclature. Lately the Project has been
performing less and less frequently, due to the expense and
logistics of booking a large group. That's a shame, but
it makes sightings of the ensemble all the more noteworthy.
Vente's compositions balance the deep hues of Thad Jones, the
pastels of Gil Evans (with whom Vente studied), and the neon
flares of fusion and pop. He hasn't written any music
especially for this occasion, but he could easily delve into
the Project's brimming book to program pieces it hasn't played
in ten or twelve years, and they'd sound brand new to most of
-Neal Tesser, Chicago
Reader "Critic's Choice
"The mostly youngish crowd not only
packed the house, but rocked and swayed to the music of Chicagoan
Marshall Vente and his Project Nine band. Even the spikiest,
least danceable numbers held this audience rapt; clearly the
performers and listeners were speaking the same language."
Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
"Pianist Marshall Vente's little
big band, Project 9, incorporated reggae and soul to invigorating
-Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Sun Times
reviewing the '97 Chicago Jazz Festival
"Whether punching out rich swing
harmonies or stripping down to an unusual instrumentation such
as classical guitar angainst flutes, his arrangements breathe
in a uniquely rewarding way. Having fine tuned his rock
music instincts as a student of the late Gil Evans, he is able
to introduce Frank Dawson's wailing rock guitar and his own
electronic keyboard touches into the mix without diminishing
the band lightness afoot."
-Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Sun Times
reviewing the '88 Chicago Jazz Festival
"From the land of the Cubs, White
Sox and a 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 composer arranger
and leader that separates this from the pack."
-Lee Jaske, Cashbox
"Marshall Vente, one of the most
inventive arranger/composers in the country, keeps on writing.
Over the last decade. Vente has crafted the Project into
a flexible and powerful tool for his writing, and together they
produce some of the city's most exciting music."
-Neil Tesser, Chicago Reader,
Project 9 at the Bulls circa 1986
Isi Perez who has been Marshall's
drummer since 1975!
Master saxophonist Pat Mallinger
- one of the new guys . . . since '91
Jim Massot, saxes and flute. A 20
year veteran with "Project 9"
Scott Mason, a 20 year veteran with
Terry Connell, lead trumpet, with
Marshall since '86
Chicago's great, Anna Dawson, at
the Bulls with Project 9.
The hallmark of the annual Marshall Vente
Jazz Festival has been its variety: over four packed nights of
music, it's often featured more than a dozen groups, only about
a third of them actually led by Vente the tireless pianist, arranger,
radio host, and entrepreneur whose musical projects have ranged
from intimate piano and voice duos to the rowdy Brazilian unit
Tropicale to an 18-piece big band. So it's a surprise to find
the Saturday in this year's festival dedicated to just one of
his bands, Project 9, the current version of his exciting early-80s
nonet, Project Nine. The group has expanded more than once, and
now numbers between 12 and 14. For this show the guest soloists
include former Chicago saxist Jeff Newell, harmonica innovator
Howard Levy, and bassist-vocalist Eldee Young, but the extra instrumentation
doesn't cloud the translucent voicings Vente learned firsthand
from legdendary Miles Davis arranger Gil Evans. (For a while Vente
called the band "Project Nine Plus," but last year rechristened
it "Project 99," taking a cue from the groups led by Sergio Mendes,
from Brasil 66 to Brasil 88.) As in most such midsize ensembles,
here the solos take a backseat to the written music: the mostly
solid improvisers nestle into the arrangements rather than steering
them as they would in a smaller combo, and the regular members'
long history together allows them to play Vente's charts with
-Neil Tesser, Chicago Reader, "Critic's
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You may contact Marshall Vente
by phone at: (630) 968-3339
Westmont, IL 60559