Joe Marillo: Flute, Piano, Saxophone

Genre: Jazz

Upcoming Local Shows

No shows scheduled | Post a show | View show history


Influences: Stan Getz, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane


Tenor sax star Joe Marillo was instrumental to many in the baby-boom generation of San Diego jazz fans. Originally from Niagara Falls, New York, Marillo's career began playing R&B on the East Coast.

After spending 10 years in Las Vegas playing in show bands and small jazz groups, Marillo moved to San Diego in 1974, and found the local scene threadbare. Marillo didn’t just bitch about the lack of opportunity; he virtually kick-started the scene by himself. The horn player started booking national jazz stars at the Catamaran Hotel, often performing with them as well.

He got jazz started at places like Chuck’s Steak House in La Jolla, and helped keep it going at the Crossroads on Market Street. Frequent bandmates in the 1970s included Butch Lacy on piano, John Leftwich on bass, and Jim Plank on drums. In 1978, Marillo released “Lady Caroline,” which became a local favorite, with a band that included pianist Rob Schneiderman.

He turned 79 in May, 2011. He also plays piano and flute, appearing around town with his Joe Marillo Quartet.

  • Pin it


Sign in to comment

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!