Joshi Marshall was born in Berkeley, California, in 1971. At the age of ten he picked up a saxophone and has been playing it ever since. As a junior, Joshi became a member of the prestigious Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble and Combo. In 1989 he won the award for Most Outstanding Soloist at the Monterey Jazz Festival High School Competition. While still in high school, Joshi had the rare opportunity of playing in and hosting sessions with his mother, Beverly Bivens, lead singer of the pop group, We Five and many notable jazz musicians which included saxophonist Pharoah Saunders and pianist, Benny Green.
After finishing high school, Joshi was offered a scholarship to the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Though the scholarship was tempting, Joshi instead opted to immediately dive into his professional career and apprenticeship in the San Francisco Bay Area with prominent blues and jazz singer, Faye Carol. After working with Carol for three years, Joshi broke out with his own jazz trio, Marshall Arts, which featured his father, Fred Marshall, a prominent jazz bassist for many years with such notables as Vince Guaraldi, John Hendrix and drummer Max Roach. Marshall Arts played in the San Francisco Bay Area for over ten years, during which time Joshi played with other celebrated jazz musicians including Charlie Hunter and Josh Jones.
In the early nineties, Joshi played a large role in the Acid Jazz and Hip Hop Jazz scene in the San Francisco club area known as South of Market. He played and recorded with Groove Shop, Daddy Goddess, Human Flavor, The Mofessionals, Jungle Biskit, Alphabet Soup and Bop City. By 1995 Joshi had established himself as one of the premier sax players in the Bay Area and became one of the founding members of the popular, innovative jazz band, Mingus Amungus, who in 1997, won the Bammie Award, the Bay Area’s equivalent to the music industry’s Grammy’s, for Best Jazz Club Band.
Over the last five years Joshi has continued to play and record with a growing number of local, national and international musicians which include John Santos, Pete Escovedo, Blackalicious, Goapele, Nicodemus, Big Youth, Sister Carol, reggae icon Don Carlos, rock legend, Carlos Santana and Southern rockers, The Black Crowes. Joshi is currently working with his own ensemble, The Joshi Marshall Project.
“Joshi Marshall: A child of Berkeley is back in town”, Berkeleyside January 30, 2014