Listening to a drum solo

Marianne is a jazz and classical double bass player, based in Guildford. She took up playing professionally at the start of 2011, leaving behind a career as director of a software consultancy in order to pursue a passion for playing the bass.

In the Spring of 2011 Marianne set up The Cavern jazz club near Guildford. Her goal was to create a club that was both intimate and welcoming and which would attract some of the top jazz musicians in Britain. Since then the club, known to locals as the “Ronnie Scott’s of Surrey”, has attracted an enthusiastic and regular following, and has now found a permanent home at the Pavilion of the Guildford Rugby Club. The guest musicians often run jazz improvisation workshops before the evening’s gig, for local musicians and music students.

At the end of 2012 Marianne expanded the club to include a monthly Jazz Cafe evening at the Electric Theatre, which have become a popular feature of the Theatre’s programme.

This was followed by fundraising events for local charities, and 2015 saw the launch of the first local Jazz Festival in Wood Street, in aid of Disability Challengers.

Over the last five years Guildford Jazz has welcomed nearly 6000 jazz fans and 400 musicians, and developed a national reputation as a regional centre for jazz. A full list of events coming up are on the Guildford Jazz website at www.guildfordjazz.org.uk.

Marianne also co-founded and is the resident bass player at Fleet Jazz Club, hosted at the Harlington Centre in Fleet, which runs a monthly programme of live jazz from some of the top UK jazz musicians on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. A list of upcoming gigs at the club are also listed on www.fleetjazz.org.uk

Aside from the club involvement, Marianne plays in and runs a number of different contemporary jazz and function groups, from duos up to quintets, and plays with a number of big bands across the South East. She also does regular theatre and orchestral work (including the Surrey Mozart Players) and teaches double bass privately.

There’s a short video about Marianne’s story here and a radio interview with David Lewis of Solar Radio here