When one thinks of superior drumming skills, a handful of names come to mind – and Marvin McQuitty, Jr.’s is at the top of that very short list. An undeniably gifted drummer with no formal training, McQuitty was truly a musician’s musician – a master of his craft, a servant’s heart, a delight to hear, and an inspiration to watch.
The music industry was stunned and saddened when McQuitty passed away in September 2012. Since then, his wife and daughters have worked diligently at celebrating his life and legacy by establishing The Marvin McQuitty Foundation, with the purpose of imparting into other musicians the skills, life lessons, character and drive that Marvin exemplified; and also by developing a film project titled “The Man, The Musician, The Mentor: A Full Length Documentary of Marvin McQuitty, Jr.”
As the name suggests, the documentary provides an intimate look at who McQuitty was when he was behind a drum set and beyond. The documentary will premiere on Friday, October 25 at 7 p.m. at Grace Church Garden Oaks Theatre in Houston. The premiere is free and open to the public.
“This documentary will chronicle the life, career and impact Marvin had as a trailblazer in the music industry both on and off the drums,” says Marvin’s widow Kim McQuitty, who was an integral part of the documentary production. “It will really bring into perspective the magic of Marvin…a lot of the artists who are featured talk about how – beyond the music chops and techniques they learned from Marvin – he greatly influenced their lives on a personal level. Marvin made them better people.”
“Marvin used the skills he acquired as a drummer to hone the art of his life,” she adds. “He knew how to set the tone of his home, his marriage, his parenting and his friendships, establishing a steady rhythm in his life just as he did for a host of world famous artists.”
Marvin McQuitty’s discography is quite prolific, and the documentary features interviews with many of the award-winning artists and producers he’s worked with – including: Teddy Campbell, Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton, Aaron Lindsey, Mary Mary and Mario Winans; as well as fellow drummers Alex Acuna, Gorden Campbell, Dennis Chambers, Cora Coleman-Dunham, Gerald Heyward, Will Kennedy, Bill Maxwell and Aaron Spears.
FOX 26 in Houston recently interviewed Kim McQuitty about the documentary and her late husband – you can view the interview by clicking here.
Marvin McQuitty, Jr. was a world-renowned musician who many considered the “Godfather of Gospel Drummers.” Modern Drummer described him as “soulful and deep-pocketed” and in January 2013 he was posthumously honored with the BMI Trailblazers Lifetime Achievement Award.
Throughout his career, McQuitty collaborated with a who’s who of artists, including Yolanda Adams; Gerald Albright; Sheila E.; Fred Hammond; Marvin Sapp; Jessica Simpson; Vanessa Williams; CeCe Winans, and Stevie Wonder. He also served a total of 20 years as a church musician – including seven years at Straight Gate Church in Detroit. He passed away just shy of his 25th anniversary of marriage to Kim McQuitty. They had two daughters – Marielle and Simone.