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An Evening with Branford Marsalis
About the event
Saxophonist Branford Marsalis is one of the most influential and revered figures in contemporary music. The NEA Jazz Master, GRAMMY® winner, and Tony Award® nominee is equally at home performing concertos with symphony orchestras and sitting in with members of the Grateful Dead, but the core of his musical universe remains the Branford Marsalis Quartet. After more than three decades of existence with minimal personnel changes, this celebrated ensemble is revered for its uncompromising interpretation of a kaleidoscopic range of both original compositions and jazz and popular classics. After the GRAMMY®‐nominated Upward Spiral, on which guest vocalist Kurt Elling was seamlessly integrated into the group, the quartet has followed up with the GRAMMY®-nominated The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul, its most emotionally wide‐ranging and melody-driven collection to date. John Zeugner captured the impact of the quartet in live performance in a recent concert review, calling it “casually confident, professional, cerebral, and supercharged with energy. The Branford Marsalis Quartet . . . was all of those adjectives and more.”
After four decades in the international spotlight, Marsalis’s achievements continue to grow. From his initial recognition as a young jazz lion, he has expanded his vision as an instrumentalist, composer, bandleader, and educator, crossing stylistic boundaries while maintaining an unwavering creative integrity. Growing up in the rich environment of New Orleans as the oldest son of pianist and educator, the late Ellis Marsalis, Branford was drawn to music along with siblings Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason. His work on Broadway has garnered a Drama Desk Award and Tony® nominations for the acclaimed revivals of Children of a Lesser God, Fences, and A Raisin in the Sun. His screen credits include original music composed for Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues, Henrietta Lacks starring Oprah Winfrey, and the recent Oscar® nominee Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman.
“Branford Marsalis’ quartet has been a model of daring, unapologetic artistry for the past three decades.” — Jazziz
“Branford Marsalis performs and speaks with a combination of fire and tenderness, with idealism and irreverence.” — PopMatters