Jym Marks jazz band performs Saturday at Menlo Park Library


The harmonies of progressive jazz are coming to the Menlo Park Library at 800 Alma St. on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 11 a.m. to noon.

The free concert features the Jym Marks Quintet. Over Marks' 50-year career as a jazz drummer, he has played with noted musicians such as John Handy, James Moody, Dexter Gordon and Pony Poindexter, according to his [ website at

Guest artist Gary Horsman will open for the band, Marks told The Almanac.

Marks, the father of four and a U.S. Army veteran, is also a performing poet, author, lecturer and barber. For 50 years, he owned the Markstyle Barber Salon and Beauty Salon at 828 Willow Road in Menlo Park. In January, he transferred ownership of the shop to Damien Dendy, his grandson, Dendy told The Almanac.

Marks is also known for celebrating his birthday with a 12-mile walk to the barber shop from his home in Fremont, a trek that includes crossing the Dumbarton Bridge. Arthritis in his knee prevented him from making the walk to mark his most recent birthday, he said, noting that he is planning to make up for that missed opportunity with a walk in the third week in April.

Marks, who overcame a reading deficit while in the Army, studied music at Foothill College and sociology at San Jose State University. He is the author of 14 books, including 11 volumes of poetry, as well as four albums of spoken-word poetry, he said.

Marks has organized open-mic poetry workshops for Bay Area youth in the past, and said he plans to organize more of them once he finds a suitable venue.

Friends of the Menlo Park Library is funding the Saturday performance. Marks is dedicating the concert, and the tune "Pops and Bebops," to the memory of his friend and mentor Delmar E. (Pops) Hopkins, who died on Jan. 2 at the age of 110.

Click here for details about the concert.

— Dave Boyce

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