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Louis “Louie” Marino – Mourning The Loss of a Buffalo Legend

Author: Joe Goretti

Louis Marino was a giant among the Buffalo music community. His career spanned nearly seven decades. His resume includes some of the biggest names in the history of jazz. Lou was also a revered teacher who educated and influenced five generations of Western New York musicians.

Louis D. Marino passed away last Friday at the age of 80. He left a legacy among Buffalo musicians so profound that it can not be accurately conveyed. Mention the name “Louie” to a Buffalo musician and everyone knows who you’re talking about. A virtuosic drummer with an unmatched swing and musicality as well as a personality that embodied the spirit and coolness of jazz itself.

Louie was drawn to drums at the age of five. By the time he was an adolescent, he was playing professionally in Buffalo night clubs six to seven nights a week. He left high school in his sophomore year to play some of the biggest jazz venues in North America.

As a first call Buffalo musician, Lou backed up countless big name artists that came through town. Along his illustrious career, Lou has performed with; Billie Holiday, Kai Winding, James Moody, Sunny Stitt, Carmen Mc’Rae, Dina Washington, Della Reese, Lou Rawls, Lou Donaldson, Woody Shaw and Charley Byrd. He also toured as the drummer for the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.

As impressive as Lou’s performing credentials are, he is just as well known as being the premier drum teacher in the Western New York area. Since the mid 1950’s Lou has educated hundreds of drummers and other instrumentalists as both a private instructor as well as an adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo. Many of his students have gone on to have successful careers in music. Lou is survived by his wife of 59 years, JoAnn, his daughter, Cheryl and his granddaughter, Giannah. The legacy he leaves lives on in his students and those he influenced. The city of Buffalo would not sound the same without Louis Marino.

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