Marvin F. Cockrell has devoted his entire life to music. He began his career as a young child. Influenced by the sounds of Sonny Stitts, Oscar Peterson and Ramsey Lewis echoing off his father's record player, he became immersed in music, which continued throughout his life. At the age of 13 he organized his first band in his garage. He went on to study band in high school and received a bachelor's degree in music at Western Illinois University in 1978. During college he studied saxophone, but eventually went back to his passion-the piano. Marvin received his master's degree in music in 1979 and subsequently taught music in the East St. Louis, IL school district, ushering many students into the field of music. In 1982, Marvin F. Cockrell joined his life-long friend and former band member, Dr. Seth J. Brownridge, who had become a well known practicing pediatrician in the St. Louis area. After listening to the brilliant talent of his long time friend the two set out to share Marvin's music with the world. This culminated in a band called 'Breeze'. This band became popular in the St. Louis area in the 1980's and under Marvin's leadership shared the stage with heavy hitters like Will Smith, Dennis Edwards and The Fat Boys. They also traveled regionally to venues like Chicago, Kansas City and Mississippi where they delighted the stages of private parties. Marvin has never left or forgotten his Gospel roots. He has been a strong fixture in the St. Louis Church community for over 24 years and currently serves as pianist and organist at Greater Mount Carmel Baptist Church. As one of the musicians for the Progressive National Baptist Convention in the summer of 2002, he was recorded on a Gospel CD compilation. Marvin's style of music has no boundaries. Just as easily as he captivates his audience with R&B, Blues and Jazz, he has the same lasting effect when he performs Easy Listening tunes at area country clubs. His multi-talents have also afforded him the opportunity to perform solo piano at hotels in St. Louis, San Antonio, New Orleans and Dallas. He has also played for the nationally famed artist, David Peaston, as well as, with popular local musicians such as Jimmy Jones, Terry Williams and Don Cook. In the 1990's, Marvin formed two other successful local groups-'Strictly Business' and '2 The Next Stage with Style'. '2 The Next Stage with Style' evolved into a new group, 'Style'. The evolution of 'Style' led to Marvin teaming once again with his long time friend, Dr. Seth Brownridge and newly found music artist, Carl R. Watkins. The three formed the promising company, 'Style Tracks Records' in 1998. Their first project resulted in the recording and production of the 4 song CD single, 'Enjoy". The CD contains songs co-written by Marvin F. Cockrell. ('Enjoy' and 'Special Paradise'.) 'Special Paradise' was performed at an event hosted by Cedric the Entertainer. In 2003, a business decision made by Style Tracks Records to promote only R&B marked a new era for the music career of Marvin F. Cockrell. With the success of the 'Stepping Stones' CD, Marvin's deep love for Jazz led him to pursue his career as a Jazz artist. Marvin decided to compose and promote his second CD of 'Smooth Jazz' entitled, 'Heat'. The development of the 'Heat' CD enabled Marvin to network with local, talented musicians, such as, Sean Holland (bass), Michael King (guitar) and James Jackson (percussion). From this collaboration, the band, 'Focus' was established. Marvin and Focus have become a strong force in the St. Louis area in 'Smooth Jazz'. The group's outstanding performances at a United Way sponsored event, II St. Louis Brothers Jazz Club and the Black World History Museum Jamz impressed Fermata Entertainment which will be promoting the which will be promoting the up coming CD 'Heat'.
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