Marshall Hawkins is currently head of the Jazz department at Idyllwild Arts Academy, a position he has held since its inception in 1985. He is also Music Director and co-founder of the Jazz in the Pines festival.
Born in Washington D.C. on July 14th, 1939, Marshall won first place honors at a talent show playing upright piano at age 12. During the same period he learned to play the drums. He studied the organ in his mid-teens which gave him the opportunity to play in many area churches. He also sang with glee clubs and church choirs, and played drums for both the Anacostia High School Marching Band and the Elks Marching Band.
In 1964 Marshall began studies on the String Bass. In a very short time he was traveling with a fellow Washington DC native, the great singer and pianist Shirley Horn. He spent the next four years playing with great Washington D.C. musicians.
Marshall joined the Miles Davis quintet in 1968 (with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and Tony Williams) and traveled throughout the United States. During this time, Roberta Flack was a music educator in the public schools. Marshall became her first bassist when she began her performing career and performed with her for two years. This included an opportunity to travel to Ghana, Africa and thus begin performing internationally.
Marshall organized the Marshall Hawkins Quintet in 1971 and performed for ten years in the Washington D.C. area. During this period he also taught many bass students. Keeping close ties with the quintet, he moved to California and joined Eddie Jefferson and Richie Cole in 1978
Marshall's live performances in the nineties include appearance with Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Paharoah Sanders, and others.
Marshall's classical experience includes performances with the Columbia Union College Community Symphony Orchestra, and the Idyllwild Chorus and Orchestra. He also performed the Sonata for Strings and Piano at Howard University.
International performances include Ghana, Africa; Toronto and Vancouver, BC; Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka Kyoto and Sapporo, Japan; as well as appearances in Finland, Denmark, Sweden, France England, Spain, Germany, and Mexico.