British Drummer Tony Marsh passed away from cancer on 9 April in London. Marsh was a familiar presence on the London improvised music scene, performing in a renowned trio with saxophonist Evan Parker and bassist John Edwards at venues such as the Vortex, and regularly participating in collaborations at Café Oto and elsewhere with improvising musicians of the highest calibre. Marsh played with Shabaka Hutchings and Guillaume Viltard in a trio at Café Oto in January, and in March at the same venue with Art Ensemble of Chicago’s Roscoe Mitchell and John Edwards.
Marsh first emerged in the 1970s with the jazz-rock group Major Surgery, before moving on to record and perform in the 1980s and 1990s with musicians and acts such as Mike Westbrook Orchestra, Howard Riley and Harry Beckett. As a drummer, Marsh was well known for technical sophistication and for conveying a wellspring of emotional depth with his playing, whilst being respected amogst percussionists as a collaborative improviser of almost unparalleled intuition and empathy.
Marsh’s funeral is being held on 23 April, in the City of London Cemetery.