Mary Fettig was born in San Francisco, and raised in the suburb of Concord. Her earliest musical training was on marimba, and she moved on to clarinet, sax and flute in her school bands. She was fortunate to have a great music program in her high school, Ygnacio Valley High, in Concord. The jazz band, under the direction of Bill Burke, was the first group to win the Monterey Jazz Festival high school competition in 1971. Her band teacher, a big fan of Stan Kenton, secured a scholarship to the Stan Kenton camp in Redlands for Mary, and the rest is history. After 2 years at UCLA, Mary joined the Stan Kenton Orchestra as the first woman to play in the band. From there, she has made her way in the music business as a performer, teacher, and clinician. In addition to Stan Kenton, she has toured with Flora Purim and Airto, Marian McPartland, Tito Puente, Toninho Horta, Joe Henderson and numerous short tours with celebrity acts. She has performed at many jazz festivals, including Concord, San Francisco, Monterey, Playboy, Hollywood Bowl, Mt. Hood, Chicago, Detroit, Mobile, world’s first Women’s Jazz Festival in Kansas City, Buffalo, Montreux, and North Sea. She resides in the San Francisco bay area, and maintains a busy teaching, recording and performing schedule. She is currently on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
- Leslie Dalencour