Meet The Jazz Master

By Rachael E. Worthington

Few jazz artists can lay claim to having performed with Sting, The Grateful Dead, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Dizzy Gillespie. Far fewer have helped to develop a community for displaced families after a hurricane, been awarded the National Endowment for the Arts’ Jazz Masters Award and been a bandleader on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Hailed as “arguably the most respected living U.S. jazz instrumentalist” (Las Vegas Sun), Branford Marsalis has become one of the preeminent jazz saxophonists today. His work as a bandleader, composer, musician and philanthropist has garnered him three Grammy Awards, a Tony nomination, and the New Orleans Recreation Development Foundation’s 2018 “Legacy Tribute” award.

Marsalis grew up in New Orleans under the tutelage of his father, pianist and professor Ellis Marsalis. He and his brothers easily gravitated toward jazz, forming the Wynton Marsalis Quintet in college before Branford formed his own quartet in 1986.

Since then, he has toured, founded the Marsalis Music label, developed The Musicians Village in New Orleans, written an original score for the Broadway production of Fences and hosted NPR’s Jazz Set.

The Branford Marsalis Quartet consists of pianist Joey Calderazzo, bass guitarist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner, and together they have won two Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Regarded as one of the the most innovative and forward thinking jazz ensembles around today, their latest recording is Four MF’s Playin’ Tunes.

See the Branford Marsalis Quartet at the Lincoln Center April 18 at 7:30 p.m. Seats start at $15

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