The Diva Jazz Orchestra leader, Sherrie Maricle who is a virtuoso drummer in a 15 women versatile band which has also been said that if in any way there are sessions for the big bands, that the DIVA JAZZ ORCHESTRA would shift those big bands from their places.
The Diva Jazz Orchestra was formed by Stanley Kay (who played the role of a relief drummer and also a manager of Buddy Rich at the time) in 1990.
Stanley Kay is said to have been a conductor who most times conducted in orchestras of which Sherrie Maricle was performing on the drums. The idea of women orchestra however came as a result of as a result of this.
In his words he said:
Music has no gender, if you can play then you can play…
Two years down the line after this statement, the all-women band was formed. The band notwithstanding based their root on other renowned bands like the Woody Herman, Buddy Rich and even the likes of Basie Count while focusing on swing.
Aside from Diva Jazz Orchestra, Sherrie Maricle is a leader of FIVE PLAY (a quintet that was created from the section of the rhythm of the Diva Jazz Orchestra). She is also the co-leader of the 3Divas Jazz Trio which had the likes of Warren Jackey on the piano, Amy Shook on the bass and of cause Maricle on the drums.
When asked what prompted the creation of the 3Divas Jazz Trio, she said ‘it was love at first sight note’.
On performance, Maricle has performed with top notch bands like New York Pops for straight 30 years at Carnegie Hall.
Apart from performance, Maricle is also a composer and an arranger which has bagged her so many awards including Women in Jazz by Mary Lou Williams.
She had this to say in a life interview:
I was born in New York, buffalo to be precised and my family and I relocated to Endicott still in New York. This place proved to be amazing because there was an amazing music hub right in the middle of the Southern border of New York. She said this when asked on where she was born and brought up.
On whether any of his parent were musical she had this to say!
She said her mom in particular was a lover of music and loved Irish and Western music most but she had revolted because they didn’t sound like jazz. She said she had revolted then because she only loved jazz music but she now has great respect for those genres of music.
What was your age when you played your first instrument?
When I was in fourth grade I loved the trumpet and had always wanted playing it but I was restrained by my teacher. My teacher said trumpet was for the boys and not for the girls. My teacher rather gave me a clarinet of which I never liked and because of this I opted to play the ‘cello instead.
In the school orchestra, the orchestra leader needed a percussionist of which I opted to play. I was in grade six then but I never left being a percussionist.
How did you have your lessons?
I had my first drum courtesy of my mother and had to take my first music lessons locally from the music store that was around my locality. When I was 11 years old, I met the Killer Forest Orchestra owned by Buddy Rich in New York and I developed goose bombs and still do each time I remember the experience. I had to run home and told my mom all I wanted was to play drums.
After that, what happened?
I attended Binghamton university after graduating from high school. All the big bands were in town and that made it fun. Most of my professors and I became colleagues and I was often invited to play in some big shows like the ice capades, touring Broadway shows, Ringling Brothers shows and what have you.
She said that after high school she received a scholarship for her masters degree in the New York University and subsequently her Doctorate degree.
When asked if she went for any jam sessions she said she used to go to the Blue which had jam sessions every night till around 4:00AM and that she also ran Village Gate Jam sessions for eight consecutive years before it closure in 1993.
When asked how they feel when she first came in as a female drummer she said they felt a little bit uneasy at Blue Note and one of them even said ‘All right honey, you can sit in if you take your top off’. She also said the attitude and perception they had about women playing the drums actually had a huge effect on her than she even knows. She also said this was almost so in every career dominated by guys but she did let it slide because she believes it was a stupid thing they did and that all her focus was on her career.
She also narrates how she’s been stigmatized by top artistes and comedians at the time.
She was invited to play in the 6,000 capacity of Binghamton arena for a popular comedian whose name was Rodney Dangerfield but was resisted because she’s of the female gender.
When asked if she sees opportunity for female musicians in the future she said no and according to her there are less and limited performing opportunities for everyone. He also said that in a latest development, the male folks are beginning to listen with their ears and not with their eyes which has created more opportunities for the female counterpart to be hired for their excellence and ability and not because of gender.
She also said that with the fast rising technological advancement, musicians are creating opportunities for themselves and joy is being given to the ever ready audience.
When asked if she composes for the three bands she’s working with she said she composes for the three bands but not only the three but also for other music groups of diverse genres of music ranging from Jazz orchestra to solo marimba.
She also said she enjoys composition and that her band does not play the cabincopy of what any composer does but they arrange it before they play it in their band.
What has Covid19 pandemic done on your career?
Music’s great joy is to perform for others to admire she said. She also said that Music is not cancelled. She also said that musicians are missing the performance aspect of music.
When asked if she will be releasing a new album she said affirmed that she will be releasing a new trio CD which she calls ‘I love to see you smile’ which will be released on May…