Tina Marsh

In memoriam

Tina Marsh
Photo by John Anderson

The passing of Tina Marsh this week is perhaps most fittingly noted in the Music section (and is – see "Off the Record"), and yet the voice of this richly gifted artist was so strong and her spirit so vital that she was known and treasured in Austin's arts community as well. So it seems only right to acknowledge the loss of her here and pay tribute to one who was both an artist of significance and a friend. During her 30 years here, Tina contributed her astonishing vocals to several dance productions, most notably those produced and choreographed by her dear friend Sally Jacques. Indeed, it was at one of those shows that I first encountered Tina's voice, ascending into the sky, soaring and swooping like Sally's gravity-defying dancers. Tina was fearless with her instrument, whether applying it to a jazz standard, an operatic aria, one of her own compositions, or an improvisation – this last being typically an off-road excursion, as it were, with traditional rhythm and melody abandoned for bird calls and bestial growls, the hypnotic ululations of an ancient culture, or some otherworldly harmonics. But she could be every bit as courageous and compelling in a ballad, when her voice would soften into a velvet caress of breathtaking vulnerability. That's what I hear in her stunning rendition of Rodgers & Hart's "Where or When," and I will always hold close to my heart the image of Tina, accompanied by pianist Eddy Hobizal, singing it at twilight in summer in the open air at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, her voice at one with Austin's natural beauty. For me personally, it stands with her glorious, ringing rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Anthem" as the embodiment of who Tina Marsh was as an artist and a human being. "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in," she would sing with unchecked passion. And Lord, how the light poured through her. Rest in peace, Tina. You will be deeply missed.

CreOp Muse presents A Tribute to Tina Marsh before Blue Lapis Light's Impermanence this Sunday, June 21, at 7pm, at the J.J. Pickle Federal Building, 300 E. Eighth. Pianist Eddy Hobizal and cellist Terry Muir, the Zeke Zimmerman band, and past and present participants in Marsh's Circle of Light project will perform. A suggested donation of $10 will go toward paying Marsh's medical expenses. Anyone wishing to stay for the 9:15pm performance of Impermanence, which is also dedicated to Marsh, may do so for an additional pay-as-you-wish price (suggested $10).

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Tina Marsh
Off the Record
Off the Record
Music News

Austin Powell, Sept. 11, 2009

Texas Platters
Jazz Sides
It's Possible, Medical Cures for the Chromatic Commands of the Inncer City Blue Canoe, Ghosts (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, Sept. 19, 2008

More by Robert Faires
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Lessons and surprises from a career that shouldn’t have been

Sept. 24, 2021

"Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams" Tells the Story of an Artist
The first-ever museum exhibition of Daniel Johnston's work digs deep into the man, the myths

Sept. 17, 2021


Tina Marsh, CreOp Muse, Circle of Light, Blue Lapis Light, Sally Jacques, Eddy Hobizal, Terry Muir, Zeke Zimmerman Band

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle