Kerry Marsh is a distinguished arranger and publisher with a focus on vocal jazz ensembles. Acclaimed arts critic Terry Teachout has praised Kerry's work, describing his "gorgeous charts, wide-spaced harmonies, and tingling dissonances" as the pinnacle of postmodern vocal group writing. As a highly sought-after commissioned arranger, Kerry's extensive catalog of music is performed globally by some of the top educational vocal and instrumental jazz ensembles. Currently based in Lawrence, Kansas, Kerry is serving as the guest director for The University of Kansas Jazz Singers, and has published over 300 compositions and arrangements on KerryMarsh.com.
Kerry's background in jazz education is extensive, having spent six years as a faculty member in the jazz studies program at The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley. During his tenure, Kerry directed two advanced vocal jazz ensembles and taught applied jazz voice. Under his guidance, UNC's Vocal Lab and Northern Colorado Voices garnered six Down Beat Magazine Student Music Awards in the Large Graduate Level Vocal Jazz Ensemble category, with Vocal Lab performing at conferences of The Jazz Education Network in 2016 and 2018.
Before joining UNC, Kerry served as the director of vocal jazz ensembles at Sacramento State for a decade, where his ensembles achieved nine Down Beat Awards and received invitations to perform at conferences of the International Association for Jazz Education.
In collaboration with his wife and musical partner, Julia Dollison, Kerry released his ambitious debut album, Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider, in March 2010 through ArtistShare. With the endorsement of Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider herself, the album features her compositions, originally written for jazz orchestra, reimagined with the horn parts sung in collaboration with the rhythm section from The Maria Schneider Orchestra. Vertical Voices earned critical acclaim, including a four-star review in Down Beat Magazine.
Since 2010, Kerry and Julia have performed as part of the vocal quartet Vertical Voices, alongside Greg Jasperse and Jennifer Barnes. The group showcases the music of Maria Schneider, Pat Metheny, Imogen Heap, Becca Stevens, and more, as well as their own original compositions.
Kerry is in high demand as an adjudicator and clinician for jazz festivals and workshops. He has directed all-state jazz choirs across the United States and worked with singer-songwriter Ben Folds as a vocal arranger and background singers director for numerous performances with major symphony orchestras, including the Boston Pops, The Washington National Symphony, and The LA Philharmonic at The Hollywood Bowl.
Kerry holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Kansas and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas.