Marilyn Mazur

Marilyn Mazur
Background information
Born (1955-01-18) January 18, 1955 (age 69)
New York City
GenresJazz, avant-garde jazz
LabelsStoryville, ECM, Dacapo, Stunt
Marilyn Mazur's Shamania at Vossajazz 2016

Marilyn Mazur (born January 18, 1955) is an American-born Danish percussionist. Since 1975, she has worked as a percussionist with various groups, among them Six Winds with Alex Riel. Mazur is primarily an autodidact, but she has a degree in percussion from the Royal Danish Academy of Music.

Musical life


Mazur was born in New York City in 1955, from Polish and African-American parents, who moved with her to Denmark at age 6. She learned to play the piano, but when she was 19, she took up drumming, inspired by Al Foster, Airto Moreira, and Alex Riel. She started her first band in 1973, Zirenes.[1] In 1978, she formed Primi, an all-woman theatre band.[2] In 1985, she was asked to participate in the Palle Mikkelborg project that would become the Miles Davis album Aura, and soon after she went on the road with Miles Davis.[1] Afterward, she played with Gil Evans, Wayne Shorter, Jan Garbarek,[2] and Makiko Hirabayashi.[3]

Her all-Scandinavian band Shamania consists of avant-garde female musicians.[1]

The U.S. magazine Down Beat, in 1989, 1990, 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2002 selected Mazur as a "percussion-talent deserving wider recognition". In 2001, she was awarded the Jazzpar Prize, the world's largest international jazz prize.



  • Ben Webster Prize, Ben Webster Foundation, 1983
  • JASA Prize, Danish jazz journalists, 1989
  • Jazzpar Prize, 2001[2]
  • Edition Wilhelm Hansens Composer Prize, 2004
  • Danish Django dOr (Legend), 2006
  • Unlimited Communication, Telenor 2007
  • EuroCore-JTI Jazz Award, 2010
  • The Grethe Kolbe Grant, Danish Conductors Association, 2013
  • No. 1 Jazz Performer, Down Beat, six times



As leader

  • MM 4 with Mazur Markussen Kvartet (Rosen, 1984)
  • Marilyn Mazur's Future Song (veraBra, 1992)
  • Circular Chant (Storyville, 1995)
  • Small Labyrinths (ECM, 1997)
  • Colors with LLL-Mental (Hot Wire, 1997)
  • Jordsange/Earth Songs (Dacapo, 2000)
  • Poetic Justice with Lotte Anker, Marilyn Crispell (Dacapo, 2001)
  • All the Birds: Reflecting + Adventurous (Stunt, 2002)
  • Daylight Stories (Stunt, 2004)
  • Elixir with Jan Garbarek (ECM, 2008)
  • Tangled Temptations & the Magic Box (Stunt, 2010)
  • Celestial Circle (ECM, 2011)
  • Flamingo Sky (Stunt, 2014)
  • Marilyn Mazur's Shamania (RareNoise, 2019)

As guest


With Lindsay Cooper

  • Music from the Gold Diggers (Sync Pulse, 1983)
  • Oh Moscow (Victo, 1991)
  • Rags & the Golddiggers (ReR, 1991)

With Pierre Dørge

  • Pierre Dorge & New Jungle Orchestra (SteepleChase, 1982)
  • Brikama (SteepleChase, 1984)
  • Even the Moon Is Dancing (SteepleChase, 1985)
  • Canoe (Olufsen, 1986)
  • Johnny Lives (SteepleChase, 1987)

With Jan Garbarek

With Makiko Hirabayashi

  • Makiko (Enja, 2006)
  • Hide and Seek (Enja, 2009)
  • Surely (Yellowbird, 2013)
  • Where the Sea Breaks (Yellowbird, 2017)

With others


  1. ^ a b c "'We strive for global unity': The extraordinary jazz drummer Marilyn Mazur talks to Chris Searle about the impulse behind her latest album Shamania". Morning Star. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Tucker, Michael (April 25, 2019). "Marilyn Mazur's Shamania: Shamania". Jazz Journal. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  3. ^ "Tanz zwischen den Genres". Badische Zeitung (in German). 12 December 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2015.