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News posts that reference press.

Harry clowns around with Stephen Colbert

Harry Connick, Jr. appeared on The Colbert Report on March 2 to discuss his new CD/DVD release “Harry Connick, Jr - In Concert On Broadway,” the spirited Mardi Gras atmosphere in New Orleans, his first public performance at five years old, and the important work of the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music. Watch Harry and Stephen clown around together here on The Colbert Report website.

Submitted by Courtney on March 3rd, 2011 — 06:08pm

Pratfalls From Haydn, Swing From Marsalis

Publication: New York Times
Author: Steve Smith
Date: February 18, 2011

Taken at face value, the program that the New York Philharmonic presented on Wednesday evening in Avery Fisher Hall was a curious clutch of disparate works. Still, there was symmetry to the arrangement: two saxophone showcases played with an estimable soloist, Branford Marsalis, both also heard during a Philharmonic concert in Central Park last summer, flanked here by pieces that repurposed viable music from forgotten stage dramas.

There were lessons to be learned from the event. One, obviously, was that any good music can survive the specifics of its provenance.

Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on February 28th, 2011 — 04:28pm

Branford Marsalis, Alexander Glazunov, And The Commodores

Publication: Lament for a Straight Line
Author: Jim Macnie
Date: February 23, 2011

Steve Smith says Branford Marsalis brought a “gracious poise” to Glazunov’s “Concerto for Alto Saxophone And String Orchestra” last week at a New York Phil show. A few weeks prior, when I sat down with the five Marsalis men who are working musicians, the subject of growing up with the Glazunov cropped up, too. Patriarch Ellis, a longtime educator and superb jazz pianist, ruminated on the rigors of addressing classical works. And then Branford and brother Wynton weighed in with a quip or two. The entire Q&A is coming out in the April issue of Down Beat, due in two weeks. Here’s part of the piece that had to be edited out for space reasons. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on February 28th, 2011 — 04:55pm

Marsalis and Blanchard focus on the new, not the tried-and-true

Publication: TwinCities.com
Author: Dan Emerson
Date: February 27, 2011

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, who led their respective bands Sunday night at Orchestra Hall, don’t seem old enough to have had a 40-year musical relationship.

But that is the case, Marsalis, 50, told the audience. They met as grade-schoolers at a summer jazz camp in their native New Orleans in 1970, and have been collaborators, off-and-on, ever since.

Sunday’s concert featured mostly new compositions by the two bandleaders and their colleagues — a refreshing change, since most Orchestra Hall jazz shows feature tried-and-true standards.

Marsalis opened the show with his quartet, which features two longtime bandmates: pianist Joey Calderazzo and upright bassist Eric Revis. The group’s newest member is young drummer Justin Faulkner. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on February 28th, 2011 — 04:24pm

Branford Marsalis talks about his new drummer, jazz families, classical music and more

Publication: Minnesota Post
Author: Pamela Espeland
Date: February 25, 2011

The eldest son in a famous clan of jazz musicians, saxophonist/composer/educator Branford Marsalis is enjoying a robust and variegated career. Known mainly as a jazz artist, he is equally at home with classical music and contemporary pop. He spent two years as musical director of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and another two performing and recording with Sting (“Dream of the Blue Turtles,” “Nothing Like the Sun”). He still performs with Sting on occasion.

On Sunday evening, Marsalis will perform at Orchestra Hall with his formidable quartet. (This is not a star-saxophonist-plus-rhythm-section quartet, but an ongoing, provocative, stimulating four-way conversation.) He’ll share the bill with another famous New Orleans native, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, who will bring his quintet to the big stage.  Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on February 25th, 2011 — 06:38pm

Alvin Batiste - Marsalis Music Honors Series (2007)

Publication: All About Jazz
Author: Nick DeRiso
Date: February 13, 2011

People think of clarinets as this sound from a different era, and the guys who play them as having done so in black and white.

The late Alvin Batiste , who initially found his muse in Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time,” was never that way. His isn’t a same-ole, same-ole southland sound so much as a retro-fitted bebop update, with period instruments. Later, he dove into Sonny Stitt—and Batiste told me, a few years before his untimely passing, that he never emerged. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on February 14th, 2011 — 11:02am

NEA Awards Ceremony 2011 Jazz at Lincoln Center


Publication: Jazztimes.com
Author: Lisa DuBois
Date: February 10, 2011

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is recognized as a powerful force in funding Art and is dedicated to artistic excellence in every way .The NEA paves the way for the projects that pass the test on creativity , originality and talent. In four decades they have awarded over 4 billion dollars to exceptional Art Projects in the United States. The NEA was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. In 1995 it was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre.

The NEA is not limited to Art but also supports music, Musical theatre, Opera and dance. One of the most important accomplishments has been the Jazz Masters program held annually. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on February 14th, 2011 — 10:04am

Ellis Marsalis is a father, a musician, and much more

Publication: Kansas City Star
Author: Joe Klopus
Date: February 9, 2011

You have to bloom where you’re planted.

For Ellis Marsalis, pianist and patriarch of a musical dynasty, that meant blooming as a creative modern-jazz pianist in the traditional-jazz soil of New Orleans, where for a long time there wasn’t much demand for what he was putting down.

The conditions weren’t favorable, but Marsalis, who brings his quartet to the Folly Theater on Friday, still managed to become something of a local legend in the Crescent City, even before his kids became famous and the whole jazz world started paying attention. He bloomed as a teacher and mentor, and not just to his own family. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on February 10th, 2011 — 03:58pm

Ellis: The Elder

Publication: Columbia Daily Tribune
Author: Aarik Danielsen
Date: February 6, 2011

Just two months in, 2011 has already been a banner year, a true benchmark, for jazz’s first family. Last month, the five musical Marsalises — pianist and patriarch Ellis, world-famous trumpeter and composer Wynton, versatile saxophonist Branford, trombone great Delfeayo and dynamic drummer Jason — were collectively named one of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Jazz Masters, the highest honor an American jazz musician can hold. It was the first time the honor was bestowed upon a group. Despite the unbelievable musical wattage each member possesses, when the time came to pick a spokesman for the brood, there was no doubt who would take center stage.New York Times writer Nate Chinen set the scene, detailing how Ellis the elder delivered a humble, wistful acceptance speech that paid tribute to jazz masters “past and passed on.” He and his sons then took the bandstand together for a surprisingly rare collaboration, “a brightly buoyant finale.”

Submitted by Courtney on February 7th, 2011 — 04:17pm

Marsalis Family Among 2011 NEA Jazz Masters

Publication: NPR.com
Author: Associated Press
Date: January 12, 2011

America’s first family of jazz — patriarch Ellis Marsalis Jr. and four of his sons — were presented the nation’s highest jazz honor Tuesday night at the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony.

It marked the first time the NEA had ever presented a group award since it launched its Jazz Masters program in 1982. The other 2011 Jazz Masters honored in the concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater were flutist Hubert Laws, saxophonist and educator David Liebman, composer-arranger Johnny Mandel, and record producer and author Orrin Keepnews. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on January 21st, 2011 — 03:10pm