Over the past decade, William Seiji Marsh has contributed his guitar skills to many of the Pacific Northwest’s up-and-coming and staple artists. From his work with Portland’s indie-rock favorites, Lost Lander, to the formative experience of touring the United States, Europe and Australia with platinum-record selling swing/rock outfit Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, to playing sold-out shows in Tokyo, Seoul and Macau with Billboard-topping songwriter and chanteuse Halie Loren, William has had numerous and diverse opportunities that have instilled in him a versatile and intuitive musical instinct. Recently, William has started performing with guitarist/singer/songwriter/whistler and mariachi maestra, Edna Vazquez.
Between performances, William maintains a private guitar studio at the Falcon Art Community in N. Portland, where he coaches guitarists young and old. He finds great joy in walking students through the same challenges of musicianship that have brought him such a fulfilling career in music. He is currently an adjunct instructor of guitar at Portland’s Reed College as well as Willamette University in Salem, Ore. Prior to relocating to Portland, he was co-owner/-director of Harmony Roadhouse Music Studios in Eugene, Ore. from 2008 to 2010, where he also maintained a private studio.
William is an avid builder and tinkerer. In his spare time, he enjoys building and modifying music electronics, including guitar effect pedals and tube amplifiers. William enjoys spending time in the outdoors when he has the opportunity.
“I have been taking guitar lessons from Bill for about a year and a half now. I exceeded my own expectations in about six months. Bill is an awesome teacher. He is very patient and teaches at what ever pace his students want to learn at… Additionally, Bill has a great resume of bands that he currently plays with. Without hesitation, I would recommend him to anyone.”
“My daughter has been taking lessons from Bill for about two years… He came recommended from a prominent jazz guitarist who pointed out Bill’s successful teaching experience, intelligent, polite and warm disposition, and his own formidable guitar playing chops… I can’t imagine a better guitar player, teacher, musician and role model for her on the guitar… It is frankly uncommon to find a musician as good as Bill on any instrument, who is as patient and kind and intelligent when it also comes to teaching beginners.”
“Amazing instructor!! Bill is not just a gifted teacher, but he is a practicing musician- which keeps it real for our son. Bill was able to tap into our son’s intrinsic motivation to practice, which is every parent’s dream.”
“I have been taking lessons from Bill for about 6 months and have been very satisfied from the beginning. I am a beginning player and have enjoyed taking lessons from him. He is very good at providing explanation, practical guidance and encouragement. He is not only a skilled guitar player, but also a skilled teacher, skills which do not necessarily go hand-in-hand! He has been responsive to my interests, easy to schedule with and reliable. I would definitely recommend him.”
“I began taking lessons with Bill last year as part of my bucket list. Having no musical background, I have always been intimidated with the prospect of learning an instrument, but at the same time loved the idea of being able to play a song or two. Bill laid out a lesson plan that I could understand and made it possible for me to start ‘playing’ a few simple songs within a few weeks. He continued to tailor our lessons around my interests versus going through a linear progession while still managing to educate me on the foundations of music and provided building blocks that I could use as I learn more. I would recommend Bill for anyone interested in learning guitar at any level!”
“I’ve been working with Bill since 2007 and he’s consistently my top-call guitarist. Aside from his sheer talent as a musician, he is extremely professional and easy to work with. As a fellow musician and teacher, I would recommend William Seiji Marsh without any reservation!”
-Ben Darwish of Morning Ritual
Instructor of Guitar, Reed College
September 2014 to present, Portland, Ore.
Individual guitar instruction to both music majors and non-majors.
Visiting Instructor of Guitar, Willamette University
August to December 2012, Salem, Ore.
Individual jazz guitar instruction to both music majors and non-majors. Focus on technique, applied music theory, improvisation, and reading notation. Studio comprised nine students who took one hour-long lesson each per week. Duties also included performances with faculty jazz ensemble.
Co-owner/co-director/instructor, Harmony Roadhouse Music Studios
2008 to 2011, Eugene, Ore.
Individual guitar instruction, organizing recitals, teacher recruitment, scheduling and management of studio-space shared by over ten teachers, studio promotion and advertisement, administrative tasks and minor maintenance. Personal studio comprised more than 16 students, ages eight through adult.
Guitar instructor, Lesson Factory
2006 to 2009, Eugene, Ore.
Individual guitar instruction, group theory and guitar classes, coaching student ensembles at summer youth music camps.
Private guitar instructor
2003 to present
Teaching students of varying levels. Focus on technique, practice methods, reading notation, transcription, improvisation, and composition. Currently maintaining a private studio at the Falcon Art Community in North Portland, Ore.
Education & Honors:
University of Oregon, Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies, June 2008
Coursework included jazz improvisation and composition, jazz and classical music history, aural skills, keyboard skills, theory, ensemble performance (small and large jazz ensembles, Oregon Marching Band, Green Garter Band, Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble), and private study with Steve Owen and Mike Denny. Advanced experience with Finale notation software.
Bassist/guitarist/vocalist, Lost Lander – 2014 to present
Studio and live performances throughout the United States. Guest appearance on Medallion (2015) prior to joining.
Guitarist/vocalist, Morning Ritual – 2012 to 2015
Studio and live performances in Portland, Ore. All guitar work on The Clear Blue Pearl, feat. Shook Twins (2013), as well as background vocals.
Guitarist, Halie Loren – 2011 to present
Studio and live performances throughout the United States, Japan, South Korea and Macau. Featured heavily on albums Butterfly Blue (2015), Simply Love (2013) and Heart First (2011). Butterfly Blue debuted at #1 on the Billboard Japan charts in the jazz category, and Simply Love was the #1 album in the same category (July-Aug. 2013). Heart First accolades include #1 vocal jazz album by Japan’s Jazz Critique magazine, #1 vocal jazz album on iTunes Canada, top 5 vocal jazz album on iTunes Japan, and 5 stars from CriticalJazz.com
Guitarist/vocalist, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – 2010 to 2014
Studio and live performances throughout North America, Europe and Australia. Featured heavily on albums White Teeth, Black Thoughts (2013) and Please Return the Evening — the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies Salute the Music of the Rat Pack (to be released in 2014).
Guitarist/vocalist/co-manager, The Essentials – 2005 to 2011
Nine-piece Soul/R&B band. Studio and live performances throughout Northern California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho, as well as booking and contracting performances.
Freelance guitarist – 2003 to present
Solo and group performances in various settings. Fluent in many popular styles, including jazz, rock, alternative, blues, and country. Also experienced in orchestral, chamber and free-improvisational contexts.
Awards and Acheivements:
Performance credit on 2012 Telly Award-winning commercial for Selco Community Credit Union, 2011.
Outstanding Undergraduate Work in Jazz Studies, University of Oregon, 2008.
Outstanding College Rhythm Section Performer, Reno Jazz Festival/University of Nevada Reno, 2008.
Student Music Award for Outstanding College Big Band Performance (as a member of 2008 Oregon Jazz Ensemble), DownBeat Magazine.
Reader’s Choice Award for Best Band (as a member of the Essentials), Register Guard, 2009.
Lost Lander, Medallion. February 2015, Glad I Did Records
Halie Loren, Butterfly Blue. January 2015, JVC/Victor Entertainment (Japan) and Justin Time Records (US/Canada)
Halie Loren, The Best Collection. September 2014, JVC/Victor Entertainment
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Please Return the Evening — the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies Salute the Music of the Rat Pack. July 2014, Space Age Bachelor Pad
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, White Teeth, Black Thoughts. July 2013, Space Age Bachelor Pad
Halie Loren, Simply Love. June 2013, JVC/Victor Entertainment (Japan) and Justin Time Records (US/Canada)
Morning Ritual, The Clear Blue Pearl, feat. Shook Twins. May 2013, self-released
Nicole Berke, This Bright Before. February 2013, Nicole Berke Music
Halie Loren, Heart First. 2011, JVC/Victor Entertainment (Japan) and Justin Time Records (US/Canada)
The Essentials, Something to Give. 2008, Essential Records
The Essentials, The Essentials. 2006, Essential Records