Marion Meadows
By Brian Soergel

Marion Meadows is one fit saxophonist.
    
Smooth jazz fans know this, of course.  How can you not notice his rippling muscles and chiseled body as he moves about the stage?  Those who follow Meadows know there’s one overriding path to his tone physique––bicycles.
    
Meadows is a cycling fanatic. He even takes bicycles with him on tour, rides competitively, and lives in a place where he can take advantage of days of days of sunshine: the Desert Ridge area of Scottsdale, Arizona, just outside Phoenix.
   
 “I like to push myself,” said Meadows, who is a member of a racing team and last year competed in the annual Tour de Scottsdale.  During racing season, he can put in 250 to 300 miles a week on his custom-made bike.  “Good cardiovascular activities are important for wellness. But there’s also a Zen aspect to riding that I get.”
    
Another benefit of his cycling workouts is that they make him a better saxophonist.
    
“Anytime you do something that keeps you fit and mentally alert makes you a better, well-rounded person,” he said.  “Cycling keeps me strong and gives me good wind as a saxophone player.”
    
Meadows will need that wind to keep up with two other in-shape saxophonists, Paul Taylor and Michael Lington.  Together they are part of a new tour Meadows organized called Gentlemen of the Night.
    
“Entertainment-wise it’s great, but more importantly it’s offering something new and fresh musically,” Meadows said.  “We wanted to bring fashion and a sense style to the stage.”
    
The trio is kicking off BB Jazz's 2010 Huntington Beach Concert Series with a Valentine’s Day show on Feb. 13 at the Huntington Beach Library Theatre in Huntington Beach, California.
    
During the show, all three perform their songs together on stage, including ones from their latest projects: Meadows’ Secrets, Lington’s Heat and Taylor’s Burnin’.
   
Fans will have plenty of chances to catch Meadows by himself in concert this year, including in October on the fourth annual Capital Jazz SuperCruise, a seven-day, full-ship charter departing from Miami.  Meadows is certainly a veteran of the jazz cruise scene. In fact, it was during one of them that he was left with a memorable story to tell. While on an excursion to the Caribbean, Meadows and his now ex-wife missed the boat––literally––at a stop in Key West, Florida. The couple had to fly from Miami to Cozumel the next morning and, of course, the mishap was the talk of the boat for a long time. Meadows, poking fun at himself, showed up on stage his first night back donning a snorkel, fins and mask.  “It was a long swim, but I made it back,” he told the laughing and appreciative cruise audience.
    
Meadows hasn’t missed a port of call since.
    
“I just love the cruises,” he said.  “There’s a captive audience on board, and there’s a magic to that. One day we’re doing a concert together and the next day we’re all hanging out on an island together.  The fans are just great. They don’t bum-rush you, but of course, they ask for autographs.  That’s great; we’re all on the same boat together and get to know each other.”
    
Meadows calls it part of being in a hands-on business now where artists interact with fans much more than in the past, not just on cruises but through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace....
    
**This story can be found in the February issue of Smooth Jazz News. Pick up your free copy at our radio station affiliates (see radio station page for listings), various concerts, festivals and select Southern California outlets. Or you can subscribe and receive 11 editions of Smooth Jazz News per year, mailed monthly (except January), for $35. Click here to subscribe online today.
    
For more information on Meadows, visit www.marionmeadows.com.

ON TOUR
Feb. 13
(with Paul Taylor and Michael Lington as "Gentlemen of the Night")
BB Jazz's 2010 Huntington Beach Concert Series
Huntington Beach Library Theatre
7111 Talbert Ave.
Huntington Beach, California
www.bbjazz.com
(714) 377-7574

Oct. 23-20
Capital Jazz SuperCruise IV
Seven-day, full-ship charter sailing from Miami, Florida.
Ports of call at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
www.capitaljazz.com
(877) 887-2835