The Arts Directory Of Transylvania County, NC
Performing guitar virtuoso and teacher of Jazz and Classical guitar at UNC Asheville.
Marc Yaxley began playing guitar at age eleven. By age fifteen, he was hired to play with Roy Counts of the Texas Wanderers who had played the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
Six years later Marc was employed with Costa Cruise Ship Lines. He performed jazz and classical guitar concerts on the World Renaissance Cruise Ship for one year.
In 1979, Marc moved to New York City and studied cello with a member of the New York Philharmonic. He also studied jazz and classical guitar with some of the cities greatest players.
In 1981, Marc was approached by a European film director who was directing the Universal Studios movie, Ghost Story. The movie starred Fred Astaire and John Houseman. The directr was so impressed with Marc's guitar playing, that he asked him to perform the Vivaldi Lute Concerto as part of the film's sound track.
In 1984, Marc moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. He became musical director at Nellis Air Force Base, and performed regularly on the Las Vegas Strip. The venues included the Desert Inn, Las Vegas Hilton, Caesar's Palace, The Mint, The Frontier, Bally's, and Circus Circus. His group won a music competition in 1985 at the Circus Circus Hotel.
Marc performed with jazz trombone legend, Carl Fontanna at the Bourbon Street Motel. His second group, Generation Gap, performed with Frankie Avalon (Venus) at the famous San Genero Festival at the Aladdin Hotel. His third group, Sidewinder, wound up at the Las Vegas Hilton where he performed jazz guitar solos for boxer Muhammed Ali, actor Lou Gossett, Jr., pop singer Helen Reddy, and comic Rich Little.
In 1986, he joined the Maurice Moore Four (Playboy Club of Chicago), and performed at the famous Bally's Showroom. Marc's quartet shared a joint concert with the Classic Four (Spooky) at the Peppermill Showroom and his popular guitar showpiece "Marc's Medley" brought the house to their feet night after night.
In 1989, Marc was asked to come to Florida to join The Harold Blanchard Quartet. Blanchard had just won a Grammy for his composition "New Earth Sonata," produced by Quincey Jones. This piece featured jazz great Chic Chorea. Blanchard's quartet was invited to play along side the London Symphony Orchestra. Marc's guitar playing was featured on an original composition "Southeast from Here." This piece was composed to feature Marc's virtuosity by Blanchard. Marc sites this as being the greatest musical experience of his life. While in Florida, he also performed with jazz legend Ira Sullivan at the Ormand Beach Jazz Festival.
Since moving to North Carolina in 1993, Marc has recorded six CD's. The latest "A Setting for the Standards," featuring Bill Berg (formerly with Bob Dylan, Leo Keotke) and Bassist Cameron Austin. His CD with Triad, a guitar trio, was presented on National Public Radio.
Marc has been opening act for Maynard Ferguson, Ramsey Lewis, Dave Brubeck, and George Shearing. Marc has also performed an arrangement of Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo ala Turk" with Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers Band.
In 2001, Marc was asked to perform with the founder of the Berkley School of Music guitar department, Jack Peterson. The two guitarists played three concerts in Brevard, stunning the audience with a wonderful arrangement of "Tico, Tico, Tico."
Marc now resides in Brevard, North Carolina, and teaches Jazz and Classical guitar at UNC Asheville. He also teaches Guitar and Cello. He has been a featured soloist at the Grove Park Inn Jazz Festival in Asheville. Marc is currently accepting students at the "Yaxley Guitar School" in Brevard. Students of all ages accepted for guitar, bass guitar, beginning mandolin, and beginning and intermediate cello.