Born in Birmingham, Alabama, and raised in East St. Louis, Illinois, Marvin F. Cockrell has always included music in his life in some capacity: first as a listener, then as a musician, and ultimately as a composer. He is a musical architect and gifted keyboard artist who has reached the pinnacle of the smooth jazz genre.
Influenced by the sounds of Sonny Stitt, Oscar Peterson, and Ramsey Lewis, Cockrell’s own music combines the elements of funk, R&B, Soul, Pop, and Latin rhythms into a smooth jazz sound that is unexpected and exciting.
Marvin is no secret to the Metro East area. He is creating a paradigm shift in the jazz arena bringing a new era to the world of jazz. His music is hot, powerful, full of energy, yet smooth, and truly epitomizes what original smooth jazz should be. Whether performing as a solo artist for private events or corporate organizations, Marvin has entertained audiences from the St. Louis area and throughout the United States for several years. His multi-talents have also afforded him the opportunity to perform in theatrical productions and solo piano at hotels in St. Louis, Chicago, San Antonio, New Orleans, Dallas, New York, and other cities. As an artist, he has shared the stage with heavy hitters like Will Smith, Dennis Edwards, and The Fat Boys.
In the city of St. Louis, Marvin’s playing is a fixture in the church community. Marvin and his band, Focus, have been headliners for Fermata Entertainment’s Annual Smooth Jazz Concert for the past 16 years held every August.
In addition to his playing, Marvin has showcased his compositional prowess on each of his four CDs: “Stepping Stones," “HEAT”, “I’m Cool”, “Red Hot Smooth Jazz and on two hit video music productions: “St. Louis Bounce” and “Our World”. Marvin has established himself as one of smooth jazz’s greatest ambassadors.