Ipswich: Talented musician who performed alongside Michael Jackson and Mick Jagger loses fight against kidney cancer

IPSWICH: A saxophonist who started out playing gigs in the town and went on to perform with some of the biggest names in music has died aged 43.

Steven Marston, who was well known in the town after playing gigs there as a young man, died at home on December 17 following a long battle with kidney cancer.

During his musical career Mr Marston worked with stars including Tom Jones, Seal, Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson.

Mr Marston’s sister Sharon said: “Music was Steven’s passion from an early age and he had a fantastic life as a result of that.

“He travelled the world, performing alongside some really big names and gave a lot of joy to many people.

“During his illness he never complained once, focusing on the well being of others rather than himself. He remained positive throughout every journey of his condition, seeing the positive in everything.

“Steven was a genuine, respected and humble man and will be remembered fondly by all who had the privilege of having him in their lives.”

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Mr Marston’s first experience with music came while studying at Nacton Heath School in Ipswich. With help from the Prince’s Trust, he and four friends formed a band called Splash Street Funk.

Playing at several local venues in the town, the band was once introduced to Prince Charles and performed in front of him at a charity event.

After leaving school and moving to London, Mr Marston joined soul group D-Influence in the early 1980s. The group went on to open shows for Michael Jackson, Prince, James Brown and Bjork.

Mr Marston also produced and performed recordings for major artists such as Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Prince, Mick Jagger, Tom Jones and Seal.

In 2003, Mr Marston was diagnosed with kidney cancer and following an operation to remove one kidney he went into remission.

The cancer returned again a few years later and after an intensive course of chemotherapy, he opted to follow a more natural form of treatment and moved to Columbia in 2006. While in South America he met his wife Antonina and the couple had a son, Aswan, who was born in February 2009. Mr Marston returned to Ipswich in August last year, living at his mother Etta’s house in Ascot Drive, after his condition worsened.

A funeral for Mr Marston will be held at Zoar Baptist Chapel in St Helen’s Street, Ipswich, tomorrow at 1pm.

n Would you like to pay tribute to Mr Marston? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.