By Brian Soergel
Marion Meadows is one fit saxophonist.
Smooth jazz fans know this, of course. How can you not notice his rippling
muscles and chiseled body as he moves about the stage? Those who follow
Meadows know there’s one overriding path to his tone physique––bicycles.
Meadows is a cycling fanatic. He even takes bicycles with him on
tour, rides competitively, and lives in a place where he can take
advantage of days of days of sunshine: the Desert Ridge area of
Scottsdale, Arizona, just outside Phoenix.
“I like to push myself,” said Meadows, who is a member of a
racing team and last year competed in the annual Tour de Scottsdale. During
racing season, he can put in 250 to 300 miles a week on his custom-made bike. “Good
cardiovascular activities are important for wellness. But there’s also
a Zen aspect to riding that I get.”
Another benefit of his cycling workouts is that they make him a
“Anytime you do something that keeps you fit and mentally alert makes you
a better, well-rounded person,” he said. “Cycling keeps me
strong and gives me good wind as a saxophone player.”
Meadows will need that wind to keep up with two other in-shape
saxophonists, Paul Taylor and Michael Lington. Together they are part of a new tour Meadows
organized called Gentlemen of the Night.
“Entertainment-wise it’s great, but more importantly it’s offering
something new and fresh musically,” Meadows said. “We wanted
to bring fashion and a sense style to the stage.”
The trio is kicking off BB Jazz's 2010 Huntington Beach Concert
Series with a Valentine’s Day show on Feb. 13 at the Huntington Beach Library Theatre
in Huntington Beach, California.
During the show, all three perform their songs together on stage,
including ones from their latest projects: Meadows’ Secrets,
Lington’s Heat and Taylor’s Burnin’.
Fans will have plenty of chances to catch Meadows by himself in concert
this year, including in October on the fourth annual Capital Jazz
SuperCruise, a seven-day, full-ship charter departing from Miami. Meadows is certainly
a veteran of the jazz cruise scene. In fact, it was during one of them that he
was left with a memorable story to tell. While on an excursion to the Caribbean,
Meadows and his now ex-wife missed the boat––literally––at
a stop in Key West, Florida. The couple had to fly from Miami to Cozumel the
next morning and, of course, the mishap was the talk of the boat for a long time.
Meadows, poking fun at himself, showed up on stage his first night back donning
a snorkel, fins and mask. “It was a long swim, but I made it back,” he
told the laughing and appreciative cruise audience.
Meadows hasn’t missed a port of call since.
“I just love the cruises,” he said. “There’s a
captive audience on board, and there’s a magic to that. One day we’re
doing a concert together and the next day we’re all hanging out on an island
together. The fans are just great. They don’t bum-rush you, but of
course, they ask for autographs. That’s great; we’re all on
the same boat together and get to know each other.”
Meadows calls it part of being in a hands-on business now where
artists interact with fans much more than in the past, not just
on cruises but through social networking sites such as Facebook,
Twitter and MySpace....
**This story can be found in the February issue of Smooth Jazz News.
Pick up your free copy at our radio station affiliates (see radio
station page for listings), various concerts, festivals and select
Southern California outlets. Or you can subscribe and receive 11
editions of Smooth Jazz News per
year, mailed monthly (except January), for $35. Click here to subscribe
For more information on Meadows, visit www.marionmeadows.com.
(with Paul Taylor and Michael Lington as "Gentlemen of the
BB Jazz's 2010 Huntington Beach Concert Series
Huntington Beach Library Theatre
7111 Talbert Ave.
Huntington Beach, California
Capital Jazz SuperCruise IV
Seven-day, full-ship charter sailing from Miami, Florida.
Ports of call at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos;
and San Juan, Puerto Rico.