||For almost three decades, Ward Marston has been a frequent performer, both as a solo pianist and with his orchestra. He has appeared at the Café Carlyle filling in for Bobby Short and played for four years at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. As a dance bandleader, he has performed at the White House and played for private parties from Hawaii to Turkey. Ward is also a pioneer in the field of audio restoration, winning two Grammy awards and four prestigious prizes for historic recordings.
Born blind, Ward began playing piano at the age of four. He first attended the Overbrook School for the Blind, where his formal musical training began. At age twelve he left Overbrook School and become the first blind student to attend public school in his district. During these years he continued his musical studies in both piano and organ and formed his first jazz group at age 15. As a teenager, he spent a summer in France studying organ with Pierre Cocherau, the organist of Notre Dame in Paris. He then entered Williams College where he managed the college FM radio station. At Williams, Ward developed skills as a recording engineer and gave weekly jazz broadcasts at the piano.
After graduation, he played jazz in Philadelphia clubs where he established a reputation as a talented musician. He caught the attention of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ellla Fitzgerald, and Oscar Peterson. All knew Ward and Ward jammed with several of these artists at various nightspots. At around the same time Ward's skills as a recording engineer led to work for Columbia records, The Franklin Mint, and Bell Telephone Laboratories (where in 1979 he restored the earliest known stereo recording).
His two related careers and passions grew. Ward developed a working relationship with Michael Carney Music of New York while he gained an international reputation as a recording engineer specializing in the re-mastering of historical recordings. Today, the Ward Marston Orchestra plays for private parties in venues across the United States and occasionally in Europe.
Ward Marston lives outside of Philadelphia with his fourth Seeing Eye Dog, Vinnie, and nearly 30,000 records, which he enthusiastically collects.