The Hip Pocket
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The Hip Pocket

Band Jazz Funk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Refferal Letters"

Owosso, Michigan

Just wanted to let you all know how much I enjoyed watching and listening to all of you Thursday night at Owosso’s amphitheater. I especially LOVED listening to “Louie Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” I hope you will all come back again. It was truly an enjoyable night. It was nice to see you go out into the audience also, again Thanks for a great night!

Theresa S.

Theresa Sarrazin []

Tulip Time Festival

Hi Phil: Yes, the evening was a great success for Tulip Time in more ways
than just financial. Our community has been waiting a lot of years to rock
Windmill Island the way we did Sat. night...thanks for being a part of it,
and I would love to work with you again sometime. I , too, have received
many positive comments.

Thanks again!



From: Judy Rusche []
Subject: RUSCHE WEDDING/ September 18, 2004 / Amway Grand


Just a quick note to Thank You and all the band members again for helping make Lesli and Ted's wedding reception a GREAT success. From the cards and letters we have received everyone had a wonderful time. Many of the comments have raved about the band and how much fun you all were. Thanks again for a great night and we'll see you all at the Burns/Yoder wedding New Year's Eve.

Judy & Mike Rusche


What can I say?? You guys were completely awesome at our wedding!! Katie and I are back from the honeymoon and we can't tell you how much fun we had at the wedding and Hip Pocket provided the bulk of the energy that night. Also, the one thing that everyone mentions when talking about the wedding is the band. Everyone was hugely impressed with you! Not only was the music selection perfect and the approach very personal, but everyone could tell that you were having fun up there as well.

We appreciate everything you did for us leading up to the event, especially learning a couple of new tunes just for us, and really want to thank you for the great job at the wedding. What a tremendous way to celebrate the start of our lives together. Thanks for everything - we hope to see you in GR again soon.

Matt and Katie

Matthew C. Bittner
Vice President
J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.
Syndicated and Leveraged Finance
P: (312) 732-6726
F: (312) 732-6894

- Past Performances


The Hip Pocket released in 1998.



The Hip Pocket delivers slammin’ soul and R & B music the hard way, with uncompromising musicianship. There’s no guessing at the meticulously crafted horn arrangements with intricate vocal harmonies from their debut CD The Hip Pocket.

The Hip Pocket has been entertaining for over fifteen years opening for acts like The Temptations, The Four Tops, Patti Labelle, Blue Oyster Cult, Steppenwolf and Don Rickles. The group has performed at countless festivals and corporate events.

Phil Marsh, the band leader, attended The Guitar Institute of Technology after studying music in college and is currently the Professor of Jazz Guitar at Grand Valley State University while focusing his abilities on the groups arrangements as band leader.

James Bates has been there since the bands conception. He has earned his definitive reputation as a male vocalist with the very best groups in Western Michigan for over 25 years. He has the admirable ability to develop a rapport with the audience with unmistakable style.
Jennifer Pepper draws her experience from dance and singing. Her excitement and enthusiasm drive the group to new levels of performance.

Kevin Gillespie has performed throughout the U.S. creating a demand for his abilities. A devote follower of the Jaco order, he lays it down on bass like no other.

Jon Wert, drummer, graduated with a jazz performance degree from Western Michigan University. Taste, style and exceptional ability are his endearing trademarks.

Paul Lesinski fills out the keyboards with funky organ to lush string parts. Paul has developed the reputation of being one of the most sought after keyboard players in West Michigan.

Mark Dievendorf started playing trombone at age eight and never quite. He attained a music Ed degree from Western Michigan, went on to earn a masters at Grand Valley State University. He has toured the country as a Yamaha clinician and played in countless group before joining The Hip Pocket.

Mike Truzskowski has earned the nickname iron Mike, affectionately stolen from Tower of Power’s trumpet play Mike Bogart. He has a music degree from Central Michigan University and has chops that don’t quit.

Jeff Baird, retired Air Force, plays the smooth, funky and melodically infectious tenor sax. When not playing with The Hip Pocket he plays with the Temptations. ‘Nough said.

Charlie Royce cranks out the lower edge of the horn section on bari sax. You don’t find many bari sax players out there and even fewer who can hang playing Tower of Power’s Doc Kupka bari parts.

The group would not be complete without Paul Andre the soundman. Not only keeping the wireless gear and sound thumpin’ he also fill out vocal harmonies when needed.