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Give It Up For Joe Marillo

Saxophonist Joe Marillo was instrumental to many of us 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 St.

I first saw Marillo in 1977, opening for, and playing with, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, in a concert at Southwestern College. Joe was heavy into 'Trane at the time. He played "A Love Supreme" with two saxophones at once. He was accompanied by 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.

You can catch Marillo on Saturdays and Sundays at the Brickyard Coffee & Tea (Kettner & G) from 9:00a.m.-noon. He also appears at Rebecca's Coffee House in South Park, on the first 3 Fridays of the month. Image

photo by Michael Oletta

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Saxophonist Joe Marillo was instrumental to many of us 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 St.

I first saw Marillo in 1977, opening for, and playing with, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, in a concert at Southwestern College. Joe was heavy into 'Trane at the time. He played "A Love Supreme" with two saxophones at once. He was accompanied by 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.

You can catch Marillo on Saturdays and Sundays at the Brickyard Coffee & Tea (Kettner & G) from 9:00a.m.-noon. He also appears at Rebecca's Coffee House in South Park, on the first 3 Fridays of the month. Image

photo by Michael Oletta

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