Marlene has performed for various audiences in the U.S. and abroad, including the Philippines’ former Presidents, Fidel Ramos and Cory Aquino, and Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand. She is backed by band members who have performed extensively throughout Europe and the United States with Aretha Franklin, George Carlin, Ron Levy and George Garzone, among others.
A native of Manila, Philippines, Marlene enjoyed a dual life as a telecommunications executive while moonlighting as a jazz musician. Her tunes, including a pop chart hit, have been recorded by some of the top artists in Manila. Marlene has garnered several awards in songwriting and has represented her country in the 1992 Asian “Song for Children” songwriting competition (Toyama, Japan). Marlene currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts, where she leads The Marlene Jazz Ensemble.
Asked about the corporate career she left behind, Marlene quips, “You’ve only got one life to live, are you where you want to be?” And as it turns out, this line has been woven into the first song she penned in the US, an album cut entitled, “Bus To Boston”.
Marlene opened for Cuban pianist, Omar Sosa, at the 2008 Philippine International Jazz Festival. She has also appeared in concerts and tv interviews in Peru. Her ensembles have performed at the 2005 and 2006 Boston Arts Festival celebrating Boston's 375th birthday, First Night Worcester, the Piers Park Concert Series and Jazz in July concert series. Marlene has performed at Ryles, the Beehive and at one of New England's top jazz venues, the Acton Jazz Cafe, recently listed in Downbeat Magazine's "100 Great International Jazz Clubs". She has also appeared in Boston's Latin American tv program, Fernando's Hideaway and has recently performed for Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick as well as Mayor Menino and local senators.
Marlene was featured by Cosmopolitan Magazine (Phils.) and was cover story for Life and Times (Phils.) for her musical achievements. Her new CD, Marlene LIVE With a Little Help From Her Friends, is enjoying airplay nationwide and in Canada and has received outstanding reviews from jazz critics. She was also interviewed by "Jazz Gallery"'s Al Davis at Boston's public radio WGBH 89.7.