Kerry Marsh is a composer and arranger specializing in contemporary music for vocal jazz ensembles. 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. 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 and funded largely through fan contributions, the album features Schneider's music as written for her jazz orchestra, but with the horn parts entirely sung, and the rhythm section consisting of Frank Kimbrough, Ben Monder, Jay Anderson, and Clarence Penn (all current members of The Maria Schneider Orchestra). Vertical Voices was met with great critical praise, earning a four-star review in Down Beat Magazine. Dollison and Marsh perform regularly with the vocal quartet Vertical Voices LIVE, with Greg Jasperse and Jennifer Barnes. Vertical Voices LIVE performs the music of Schneider as well as Pat Metheny, Nando Lauria and more, including original compositions by the group.
From 2003 to 2013, Kerry directed the vocal jazz ensembles at Sacramento State University. During that time, his ensembles and individual students earned twelve Down Beat Magazine Student Music Awards, distinguishing the program as one of the premiere programs in the country during that timespan. The Sac State vocal jazz ensembles were twice invited to perform at conferences of the International Association for Jazz Education, and were one of fourteen winners of a national search to have a song appear on the Epic Records release, Ben Folds – College A Cappella. Marsh has since worked with Folds as a vocal arranger, background singer, and director in numerous performances with major symphony orchestras, including the Boston Pops and the Washington National Symphony.
Marsh is busy year-round as an adjudicator and clinician for jazz festivals and workshops. He also serves as a traveling clinician and high school honor vocal jazz ensemble director for the Monterey Jazz Festival. Marsh has directed all-state jazz choirs in California, Arizona, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wyoming, Illinois, New York, Iowa, Maine and New Hampshire as well as the Nassau County (NY) Honor Jazz Choir.
Kerry graduated from the University of Kansas in 2000 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and from the University of North Texas in 2003 with a Master of Music in Jazz Studies. His university training included study with Paris Rutherford, Dan Gailey, Simon Carrington, and Rosana Eckert.