Clarinetist Dan St. Marseille brings his Dixieland Quintet next to the Idyllwild Summer Concert Series.
In addition to having well-reviewed musical chops in such publications as Downbeat, Jazztimes, Jazz Critic and the Los Angeles Times, St. Marseille has deep Idyllwild connections. “I’ve taught for 24 years as part of the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program,” he noted. He’s played at Jazz in the Pines during the inaugural years and again in 2009. He also has played with Marshall Hawkins’ Seahawk Orchestra. He plays in town regularly with Hawkins and Paul Carman. He is a skilled musician, from a long line of musicians, and has a young son, Christian, who plays sax.
Born in Ontario, Canada, St. Marseille has an affable urbane sophistication. He speaks French and came to California when he was young. “My father came to Southern California to be an opera singer,” he said. “He later sang internationally and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. My grandfather was a renowned violinist. My great uncle was a clarinetist who passed away when I was 2. When I was 9, I got his clarinets. I remember looking in his clarinet case for the first time and seeing the gleaming keys as if the case were filled with diamonds. I knew by the age of 10 I wanted to be a musician. I heard Benny Goodman and that was it.”
St. Marseille is the director of instrumental music at the Orange County School of the Arts in Orange and the director of jazz studies at Irvine Valley College. He has a master’s degree in jazz from the University of Southern California.
“We’ll be playing traditional Dixieland and swing,” said St. Marseille. Appearing with St. Marseille are Thomas Hines on guitar and banjo, Kevin Richardson on trumpet, Tyler Walton on drums and John Urban on bass.
St. Marseille and his Dixieland cats take the stage at the Butterfield Commns on Strawberry Creek at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 21. Opening for St. Marseille is Roger Dutton and his group.
For more about the Idyllwild Summer Concert Series, visit www.idyllwildsummerconcerts.com. To help fund the series, send checks to Idyllwild Summer Concert Series, P.O. Box 1542, Idyllwild, Ca. 92549.