Catching Up With Jazz Drummer Anwar Marshall

By The Django


The Django sits down with jazz drummer Anwar Marshall to discuss his musical background and his next show Tuesday, February 15th at The Django located in the cellar level of the Roxy Hotel New York.


Catching Up With Anwar Marshall


TD: Anwar! We are so happy to have your trio return to the Django stage this Tuesday, February 15th from 7PM-9:30PM! I noticed you’re using the same personnel as your last gig with us: Mike King on piano and Tyrone Allen on bass. What drew you to both of these amazing musicians? Is this your working Trio?


AM: Yes, this is my working trio, when I can get them both. They are some of the most in demand rhythm section players on the scene today. I was drawn to both of their playing because of how dynamic they are on and off their instruments. Whatever music I bring, they understand the spirit in which it was created, but they figure out ways to be quite inventive with how they approach it.


TD: Like myself, you’re originally from the Philadelphia area. How has coming up in that region affected you as a musician? What musical differences do you find between Philly and NYC?


AM: Philadelphia is the bedrock for a certain type of soulful music performance that goes across all genres and that’s had a profound affect on me. The musical differences are many, but the biggest difference is that, since the whole of the music scene is quite smaller, musicians of all different genres play together. It’s a lot harder to be a “specialist” in Philly, which makes musicians from all genres into very versatile players.


TD: You recently were on tour with legendary organist Joey DeFrancesco. What was your most memorable moment from that experience? Also, how do you approach playing with an organist as opposed to the classic piano/bass/drums format?


AM: The best thing about being on tour with Joey DeFrancesco is the level of mastery that he has. It makes the rest of the players on stage strive for a better performance. The biggest difference between playing with an organist & a traditional trio format is the dynamic level.  Since organ is an electronic signal, it can be played softer and louder than acoustic instruments.


TD: I see you’re dropping a new record in the next few months, entitled “Cold”. What can you tell us about this latest musical offering?


AM: “Cold” is an EP consisting of music I wrote and played drums, piano/keyboards, and sang a little on. It also features some very diverse collaborations. The single “Remember 2020?” which drops on 02/22 features a rapper named US from Wolford and talks about how crazy the year 2020 was for a lot of people.


TD: You’re pulling double duty this Tuesday, leading your own trio followed by a sideman appearance with Mark Kelley (bassist for the Roots). The connection between drums and bass is sacred, what is it about Mark’s playing that sets him apart?


AM: Mark is a fearless bassist with an incredible sound on upright & electric bass. I’ve been a fan of his for many years, but Tuesday will be our first time playing.


TD: Final question: Pat’s or Geno’s?


AM:  Neither! I grew up in North West Philadelphia, and didn’t have a cheesesteak from South Philly until much later in life. My pick: Pagano’s in West Oak Lane!