RJ Marx Quartet jams in Manzanita

The RJ Marx Quartet: (from left) John Orr, R.J. Marx, Dave Gager and Joe Church

MANZANITA — The RJ Marx Quartet, a saxophone and guitar ensemble, will perform at the Hoffman Center for the Arts (594 Laneda Ave.) 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30. Admission is $10.

The band explores some of the most challenging and rarely performed compositions of the major jazz artists from the 1940s to 70s, as well as an array of traditional favorites.

The quartet is led by saxophonist R.J. Marx, who began his love affair with jazz while still in high school in 1971, followed by studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and later studies with celebrated jazz pianists and saxophonists.

Marx, the editor of the Seaside Signal and Cannon Beach Gazette, maintained his lifelong interest in jazz, writing for the website Jazz Central Station and creating artist profiles for regional and national publications. Marx has been a member of the Jazz Journalists Association for more than a decade.

Guitarist John Orr has played all over the western states. Fluid in many styles of music, his main influences vocally include The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Mose Allison, Louis Prima, and guitarist influences Django Reinhardt and Barney Kessel.

Bassist Joe Church started playing guitar at 16, and by 18 had switched to bass. He plays many other instruments, including lap steel, flute, sax, ukulele, fretless electric bass, mandolin and banjo.

Drummer Dave Gager started playing drums at 11, influenced by The Beatles’ cartoons. Gager has recorded and performed with regional, national and world-class musicians, dividing his time between studio sessions and touring. He offers drum lessons to students of every skill level and musical style.

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