Kerry Marsh is an arranger and publisher specializing in music for vocal jazz ensembles. Terry Teachout, arts critic and contributing reviewer to the Wall Street Journal, said that “Kerry’s gorgeous charts, with their wide-spaced harmonies and tingling dissonances, are as good as postmodern vocal group writing gets.” In high demand as a commissioned arranger for many of the nation's top educational vocal and instrumental jazz ensembles, Marsh has a large and varied catalog of music performed regularly around the world. Kerry publishes 250 compositions and arrangements at KerryMarsh.com.
For six years, Kerry was a member of the jazz studies faculty at The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where he directed two advanced vocal jazz ensembles and taught applied jazz voice. Under his direction, the UNCs Vocal Lab and Northern Colorado Voices earned six Down Beat Magazine Student Music Awards in the Large Graduate Level Vocal Jazz Ensemble Category. In 2016 and 2018, Vocal Lab performed at conferences of The Jazz Education Network. Previously, Kerry served for ten years as the director of vocal jazz ensembles at Sacramento State, during which time his ensembles earned nine Down Beat Awards and were invited twice to perform at conferences of the International Association for Jazz Education.
Along with his wife and musical collaborator Julia Dollison, Kerry released his highly ambitious debut album, Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider, in March 2010 through ArtistShare. Endorsed by the Grammy-winning composer herself, the album features Schneider's music as written for her jazz orchestra, but with the horn parts entirely sung, and is in collaboration with the rhythm section from The Maria Schneider Orchestra. Vertical Voices was met with critical praise, earning a four-star review in Down Beat Magazine. Since 2010, Dollison and Marsh have performed regularly with the vocal quartet called Vertical Voices, also featuring Greg Jasperse and Jennifer Barnes. The quartet performs the music of Schneider as well as Pat Metheny, Imogen Heap, Becca Stevens and more, including original compositions by the group.
Marsh is busy year-round as an adjudicator and clinician for jazz festivals and workshops. Kerry has directed all-state jazz choirs in California, Colorado, Missouri, New Jersey, Arizona, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wyoming, Illinois, New York, Maine, Iowa, New Hampshire All State Jazz Choirs as well as the Nassau County (NY) Honor Jazz Choir. Since 2009, Kerry has worked with singer/songwriter Ben Folds as a vocal arranger and background singers director in numerous performances with major symphony orchestras, including the Boston Pops, The Washington National Symphony and The LA Philharmonic in performances at The Hollywood Bowl.
Kerry graduated in 2000 from the University of Kansas with a B.M.E. in Music Education and in 2003 with a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas.