Marlyn Warner should probably brace himself for an influx of new students.

The guitarist and singer is launching his album "My Music" with a concert June 29. Six years in the making, the album is the first release from the Menchey Music teacher of guitar, bass and ukulele.

"I decided to show what I can do for once," he says of the decision to put together an album with an eclectic jazz emphasis. "I do a lot of improvisational music. I draw influence from styles all around the world."

The 56-year-old from the Windsor area was born with music in his blood.

"My dad was a musician and guitar teacher himself," he says. "He would tell me when I would play rhythms on the table with my hands that I was made for music."

The CD: The album features 10 tracks, including seven originals and three covers. The swing of Duke Ellington, the classic rock of Jimi Hendrix, and the metal rock of Metallica get a new tempo and sound in Warner's hands.

"I love taking rock songs and making jazz tunes out of them," he says.

In the mix are six pieces with vocals and four instrumental tunes. Three of the songs feature lyrics he wrote himself. He describes the title song, "My Music," as "a real happy song," while "Red Tape" is a humorous, sarcastic song about frustration and "Alone" is about "being down and out."

The range is a deliberate choice to encompass the broad expanse of human experience.

"I like to write to every emotion, not just feel-good music," he says. "Music is something that has really inspired me my whole life."

To create the album, Warner worked primarily alone.

"I wrote the tunes first, and when I went to record them, I did three-quarters of the tunes myself, all the instruments, the vocals and everything," he says, describing the process of laying down separate tracks for each instrument and bringing them together for the finished pieces. "I only really have two tunes where I did it with a full band."

The concert: For the live performance, Warner will have seven fellow performers jumping into the lineup on various songs.

"There's so many up-tempo tunes on there that are just flying," he says. "The players with me are top-notch jazz players, so they'll be improvising, too."

Improvisation is a challenge and a delight that crystallizes in a single moment, assuming the performer doesn't let it pass him by.

"You have to practice so much that whenever you think of melodic passages or chord progressions, you just know what to play," Warner says. "You have to make the decisions right on the spot, so you have to be relaxed and fluid."

Practice, of course, is something the music teacher knows a lot about. And if anyone in the audience feels that spark of interest in their fingertips when Warner makes his guitar sing, they'll know where to find him.

"I love teaching," he says. "I love to see people learn and get better."


Marlyn Warner presents "My Music" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at Providence Presbyterian Church, 1215 Church Road, Manchester Township.

The show will last about two hours. Tickets will be $12 at the door.

CDs will be available for purchase ($12), and Warner will greet fans and sign autographs.

For more information or to purchase the album online, visit iTunes or CD Baby.

- Reach Mel Barber at