Official Biography (courtesy of Marzette Griffith)
No history of the Chicago soul scene would be complete without a chapter on Marzette Griffith. As the main singer in the group Essence, he propelled their two singles, “Sweet Fools” and “I Ain’t Much But I’m All I Got” into the Billboard chart’s top 100 in the late 70s. Released on the Epic subsidiary, Cleveland International, this R&B classic was produced by Chicago legend, Willie Henderson, along with Frank Rand and Grammy winner, Jim Peterik, of Ides of March “Vehicle” and Survivor “Eye of the Tiger” fame. Marzette and Jim formed a musical alliance that remains to this day.
Since then, Marzette has been honing his skills as a songwriter, producer, solo artist and dancer. His 1995 release as a member of ASAP with Dick Fowler and Keith Stewart (also produced by Jim Peterik with ASAP) achieved strong regional sales that lead to a 1996 tour.
Marzette has continued to write and record songs that are played on radio stations in the U.S. and Overseas. Through it all, he has nurtured his love for dancing. Marzette has captivated audiences for years with his smooth Steppin’ Style, becoming one of the pioneers of that dance genre in Chicago. Subsequently he was the 1st place winner of the first World’s Largest Stepper’s Contest. He took a year off and came back the third year to reclaimed the 1st place honor again. He also made his cameo film appearance dancing in the world-wide release, “Love Jones”.
Marzette’s smooth melodic style and his wide vocal range has been heard on several levels in the entertainment industry. He has performed for Chicago radio station V-103’s “Expo for Today’s Black Women”, WGN Channel 9’s Morning Segment and Cruise Ships, just to name a few. He has performed on the same show but at different times with Ray, Goodman & Brown, The Dramatics, Angela Winbush, Midnight Star, Syleena, Johnson, The Emotions, After 7, Heat Wave, Earth Wind & Fire, Will Downing, Phil Perry, The Temptations, Ramsey Lewis, James Brown, KC & JoJo, The Whispers, Kem, Keith Sweat, Gladys Knight, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, The Stylistics, R. Kelly, Mindi Abair, Casey Abrams, Lisa McClowry, Steve Oliver, and Si Jay. There are more that could be named but the list would be too long. Some of the mentioned artist, Marzette has worked with on more than one occasion. One of the biggest hits of the Ides of March is “Vehicle”, which was resurrected once again with the vocals and Fred Astaire styled dance moves added by Marzette when Peterik asked him to perform the song with him for World Stage Productions.
Marzette is a very talented and versatile artist. His vocal range is phenomenal. It’s rare for one to possess the capabilities that his voice does. He can sing R&B, Pop, Alternative, Jazz, and Blues. His talent exceeds his vocal ability and his “must see” performance will leave you wanting more. Marzette is known for pleasing his fans. That’s why he has a very strong fan base that continues to support him. Marzette does not take the love and support of his fans lightly. It is well received and greatly appreciated.