Marsha Meekins was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, to Lafayette and Mary Etta Meekins. She was the third of five children. As a youngster she developed a very strong love for music- playing, singing, and listening to all types. Her father's love of opera fascinated her. She studied music and sang in the choir in elementary school, she played the flute and the viola in both junior high and high school. She studied music for two years at Mary Washington College and then transferred to Virginia State University, where she played in the university's marching and symphonic bands. She received an undergraduate degree in Public School Music, with the Flute as her major instrument. She taught instrumental music in public schools for 20 years in VA. She then decided to change careers and moved to Maryland to accept a position with the Maryland State Education Association.
Marsha has played flute professionally for over 32 years as a guest artist in various church services, weddings, concerts, funerals, benefits, etc. She has formed, managed, and/or played in several jazz, reggae, and concert bands throughout VA. and MD.:
· Began playing jazz with guitarist/percussionist Jim Coles
· Studied improvisation with pianist Debo Dabney
· Became member of The Richmond Jazz Society which encouraged her to "sit in" on jam sessions
· Had first professional gig in 1981 with “Chapter Two,” a four-piece jazz ensemble
· Organized first band, “Wave” in 1982
· Started an all-female jazz ensemble in 1983- “The Jazz Ladies;” they celebrated 25 years of making beautiful music with a reunion in Nov 2008
· Performed and recorded with two all-female reggae bands- “Jah Spirit” and “Ruff and Mellow“
· Played with “The Jazz Connection” in VA. and “B-More All-Stars” in MD.
· Formed “The Jazz Connection Two” in 1996 which became The Marsha Meekins Project in 1998
Marsha also co-directs the Sounds of Praise, an instrumental gospel ensemble in Epworth United Methodist Chapel, where she is a member of the Chancel and Mass Choirs, a Liturgist, and a Certified Lay Speaker.
Marsha recorded her first solo project Spiritual Meditations in 2002. It was produced by guitarist Deon Clark.
Since recently retiring from MSEA, she plans to record another solo project in the near future.