Eddie Marrero

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Eddie Marrero, a New Orleans jazz bassist from a large family of musicians, should not be confused with several other performers with the same name. These include Eddy Marrero, a producer of Latin music,…
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Eddie Marrero, a New Orleans jazz bassist from a large family of musicians, should not be confused with several other performers with the same name. These include Eddy Marrero, a producer of Latin music, and Eddie Marrero, an actor whose roles have included a Latin bandleader. The Marrero name, obviously spread far and wide, has an important place in the history of bass playing in America. Eddie Marrero simply had to cry "Daddy!" to look that history square in the face, that is unless his father was out of the house on a gig. Born in the 1870s, Billy Marrero is a name that comes up whenever the origin of jazz bass playing is discussed. Of the four sons sired by this man, Eddie Marrero and Simon Marrero became bassists.

John Marrero and Laurence Marrero played banjo, substituting with the guitar as the styles of jazz evolved, and Laurence seems to be the pick of the bunch in terms of fame. Father Billy's activities as both a teacher and player influenced many younger players from New Orleans, with discussion currently raging over whether he was the first man to pluck, rather than bow, a contrabass. Eddie Marrero's brothers may have represented an equally great influence on his own playing. Simon Marrero gave him bass lessons. When Eddie joined the Young Tuxedo Orchestra in the early '20s, he looked to the leader of the group for guidance, his banjo-picking brother Laurence.