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March 31, 2017 4 min read

Evan Marien is a composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist born and raised in Decatur, Illinois and now living in Brooklyn, New York. Although Evan grew up playing trombone, piano, guitar, and drums, he is primarily known for his playing on the electric bass and has been featured in multiple publications such as Downbeat, Bass Guitar UK, Bass Player Magazine US, Bass Guitar Japan and many others.


After graduating high school Evan briefly attended Millikin University,  studying commercial and classical music. In 2006, Evan left Millikin to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. During his time at Berklee, Marien studied under Matthew Garrison, David “Fuze” Fiuczynski, Joe Lovano, Kenwood Dennard and Lincoln Goines to name a few. He arrived as a jazz composition major and then began to sharpen his performance chops in the fusion and contemporary music scene with Fiuczynski’s KiF and Microjam bands.

In 2009 he graduated Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music and soon after he was honored by the Bass Player Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards, voted as one of the top three “Most Exciting New Players”.

His first album “Between Worlds” was released by Art of Life Records in 2009 and received critical acclaim by magazines such as Bass Player and Bass Guitar, who said

“…there’s a new bass monster in town…armed with ridiculously fluid finger style chops and a strong sense of groove…. -Bryan Beller, Bass Player Magazine

“highly original harmonic approach to soloing….an emerging bass talent…one who backs up his stunning bass work with music of depth and subtlety” -Mike Flynn, Bass Guitar Magazine

An EP called  “Here We Are” followed in 2011 featuring Iakov Kremenskiy, Louis Cato and Dana Hawkins, whom later he would form a critically acclaimed duo with.

The years 2011-2014 saw a unique partnership between Dana and Evan, which became a progressive collaboration of bold bass artistry, dynamic electronic production, and prodigious drumming. Their first album “Collection”  was released on January 8th 2013 which features live recordings and video mixes. 2013 also saw the release of singles such as “The Eldridge” and “Sweatn”. 2 new songs “Finale” and ” Encore” appeared on the Evan Marien solo album “We Are All You” in 2014.

On March 18th 2014 “We Are All You” was released to critical acclaim receiving features on, Jay Scarlett’s Sounds Supreme mix,  a spot on Gilles Peterson’s playlist on BBC Radio 6,  and spins on radio stations like KCRW Los Angeles. His music has also been featured on the popular radio show Coast to Coast AM and NPR’s All Things Considered. A handful of short EP’s followed in late 2014 and 2015 (Pillows/Coffee, Parallels and The Ten Thousand Things, W.U.T.F) and on August 7th 2015 he released the album “Artifacts”, which again received acclaim and features from Gilles Peterson on BBC Radio 6.

2016 into 2017 found Evan releasing new music under the name EMAR, which led to a headline performance at MAGFest 2017 with a live band and visuals.

Known well for his versatility he has recorded or performed with a staggering list of names, some of which are Grammy-award-winning artists like Jack DeJohnette and Terri Lynn Carrington. Marien has also recorded or performed with other notable artists such as Louis Cole (of KNOWER),  Marko Djordjevic’s Sveti, Mike Slott, Diane Badie (of LESSER PIECES),  Ruslan Sirota, Marco Sfogli, Tim Miller, Greg Howe, Global Noize w/ Jason Miles and DJ Logic, Sean Nowell and The Kung Fu Masters, Greyson Chance,  Morgan James, Lara Johnston, Ari Hoenig, Kenwood Dennard, Zach Danziger (Stix Beiderbecke), Sebastiaan Cornelissen, Fred Wesley,Tyshawn Sorey, 6 Figures w/ Nigel Hall, Steve Hunt, Brian Culbertson, Tanya Morgan, Nitty Scott MC,  Jason Goldstein, 6 Sense and many other incredible music makers and instrumentalists.

Recently he has been seen touring with Justin Brown’s NYEUSI, Virgil Donati, Allan Holdsworth and Elliot Moss.

Back in Brooklyn, Evan composes commercial music working alongside the award-winning Joel Beckerman and ManMadeMusic. His music can be heard with brands such as AT&T, The Dallas Cowboys, IMAX, and many others. His bass playing can be heard on brands such as FX, Ulta Beauty, AT&T and OnMo Global.

Evan is a faculty member at The Collective in NYC, teaching modern music to all instrumentalists. He is also an Artist Endorser for Markbass amps and effects, Pigtronix pedals, Source Audio EFX pedals, Callowhill basses, Ken Smith basses, Campbell American basses, Guardian Pro Cables, GHS strings,  Gruv Gear straps, as well as Nordstrand pickups,.

“My two favorite basses are my Callowhill and my Ken Smith. I use Markbass amps to round out my tone and sound. I also use a variety of effect pedals from companies like Source Audio and Pigtronix.”

Evan Marien has the Nordstrand npvj5s set in his custom Callowhill bass guitar. “The NP5v is punchy and very dynamic. The NJ5s gives me that “Jaco” sound and punch. I got hooked to Nordstrand pickups because Tim Cloonan of Callowhill recommended them when we were building my custom.”

Recently Evan was featured in Bass Player Magazine online with news of his upcoming shows with Allan Holdsworth and his new album called EMAR Vol 1.

“My hobbies include composing commercial music for companies like AT&T and IMAX. I also really love video games, been playing a lot of Final Fantasy 15 and Star Wars Battlefront! My wife is a sweetheart that puts up with all my little kid-isms. We love to travel together. We got married in Iceland last year and spent our honeymoon in Iceland as well, we love it there!”

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