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A year in review: Great 2010 CDs

Publication: The Louisiana Weekly
By: Geraldine Wyckoff
Date: December 20, 2010

New Orleans musical family dynasties put out and made out in the CD department in 2010. Most of the top albums this year, all of which make for excellent gift-giving opportunities, were released by members of the (in alphabetical order) Andrews, Harrison, Neville and Marsalis families. Other contenders for this year best releases come from the likes of Dr. John and Kermit Ruffins, who one could argue, are dynasties unto themselves. This makes a strong statement about the longevity and continuance that is at the heart of the New Orleans music tradition.

While new styles might dominate or often come and go in other locales, in this city they are more apt to be absorbed and become a new aspect of the heritage. For example, many local hip-hop artists do embrace some of the rhythms and nuances of the music that surrounded them in their childhoods. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on December 21st, 2010 — 02:51pm

Jazz musician combines Beethoven with The Beatles

 

Publication: MOVE Magazine
By: Angie Andera
Date: December 3, 2010

For jazz pianist Joey Calderazzo, music has always been a part of his life. The piano first struck a chord with the musician when his childhood friend took up the instrument.

“My next door neighbor played the piano and always had to practice, so instead of going home I’d stay and watch him practice,” Calderazzo said. “I thought it was something I could do too, so at about eight I asked to take piano lessons.”

At the age of 17, Calderazzo got his foot in the door of the music industry by sitting in with New York jazz musicians.

“I would go to jam sessions, or I would have a friend that played with somebody and let me sit in with them,” Calderazzo said. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on December 16th, 2010 — 03:29pm

Marsalis pianist Calderazzo to make a welcome return

Publication: Kansas City Star
By: Joe Klopus
Date: December 1, 2010

 

One good turn deserves another. So, less than a month after he was in town with the Branford Marsalis Quartet, pianist Joey Calderazzo is back on Saturday at the helm of his own trio.

Calderazzo, appearing this time at the Blue Room, has spent 12 years in the Marsalis quartet and has been associated with the saxophonist for upward of 20 years. But, as he’ll prove Saturday, he’s no mere sideman.

A native New Yorker, he’s one of those “young lions” who emerged in the 1980s. A lot of people first heard him with tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker about 1987.

Submitted by Courtney on December 16th, 2010 — 02:20pm

The Marsalis Family: Music Redeems

Publication:  PopMatters
By: Benjamin Aspray
Date: September 9, 2010

Affable humility radiates from Music Redeems, a live recording of the Marsalis family’s performance at the JFK Center in D.C. The whole prodigious clan was there: brothers Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo, and Jason on trumpet, sax, trombone, and drums respectively; patriarch Ellis on piano; and Ellis III doing spoken word. Harry Connick Jr., a long-time family friend, also made an appearance. 

Read more »

From D.C.'s Kennedy Center to East Of Angel Town: Conversations with Branford Marsalis

Publication: The Huffington Post
Author: Mike Ragogna
Date: October 18, 2010

Legendary jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis has been accumulating a series of honors with the upcoming NEA’s Jazz Masters Award being one of the most prestigious yet. He and his brood of familial, musical superstars recently played D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and that recording has been released as the album Music Redeems that unites The Marsalis Family with guests such as honorary offspring, Harry Connick, Jr.

The project’s profits will fund The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, a New Orleans-based organization dedicated to keeping the arts lively for young people. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on October 18th, 2010 — 10:04am

Good Works: Marsalis Family Live CD Benefiting New Orleans Education Center

Publication: Billboard
Author: Mitchell Peters
Date: October 16, 2010
 

In June 2009, New Orleans’ Marsalis family of jazz musicians - father Ellis (piano) and sons Branford (saxophone), Wynton (trumpet), Delfeayo (trombone) and Jason (drums) - gathered for a rare, sold-out performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

During the evening, Ellis received the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, the National Endowment for the Arts honored the Marsalis family with a 2011 Jazz Masters Award.

Since the family performs together so infrequently, the artists decided to record the June concert. Months later, Branford listened to the recording and was pleased with what he heard. “I said, ‘Wow, this is pretty good, actually,’ he says. “It was a lot of fun too. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on October 12th, 2010 — 10:20am

Outspoken Branford Marsalis loyal to music

Publication: Toledo Blade
Author: Rod Lockwood
Date: October 6, 2010

Famed musician to interact with students, play at BGSU

By 2000 Branford Marsalis had played with Art Blakey, Miles Davis, his brother Wynton Marsalis, Clark Terry, the Grateful Dead, and Sting, among countless other musical luminaries.

He had led The Tonight Show band for Jay Leno, attended the Berklee College of Music, and recorded seven albums. Marsalis, a three-time Grammy winner who by then was a household name — at least in homes where people sit around talking about jazz — was 40 years old and already had accomplished more musically than someone far older.

All of which added up to just one thing for Marsalis and it had nothing to do with congratulating himself for being so good.

It was time for a new challenge, in this case making a major foray into the world of classical music, which is obviously a lot different than the jazz and pop genres where he was most comfortable. The move meant learning an entirely new form of music and taking the chance on failing.

Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on October 7th, 2010 — 09:58am

Branford Marsalis talks "Music Redeems" and Party Songs

Publication: Artist Direct
Interviewer: Rick Florino
Date: October 5, 2010

There’s no better gift to dad than bringing the whole family together.

Jazz stalwarts, the Marsalis family, assembled at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. last year to honor dear old dad, Ellis Marsalis. Ellis is a recipient of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and he’s been integral to the genre since he first picked up an instrument. The Marsalis family sold out the Kennedy Center for the event, and all proceeds were donated to the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music. In addition, team Marsalis recorded the show and released it as Music Redeems.
Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on October 6th, 2010 — 12:44pm

Families That Play Together . . .

Publication: The Wall Street Journal
Author: Larry Blumenfeld
Date: September 23, 2010

A trumpeter squared his shoulders, issued short rhythmic bursts based on one note, and then built a crowd-pleasing yet complex solo. A drummer mined a flexible groove, sharing a glance now and then—locking in—with a pianist whose harmonic shifts urged along the song. The three musicians bore a striking resemblance to one another. No coincidence: The trumpeter and drummer were Adam and Zachary O’Farrill, 15 and 18 years old, respectively. The pianist was their dad, Arturo O’Farrill, whose distinctions at age 50 include directing the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.
Read more »

Submitted by Ben on October 6th, 2010 — 12:16pm

Two Stars, Two Assertive Drummers

Publication: New York Times
Author: Ben Ratliff
Date: October 3, 2010

The trumpeter Terence Blanchard and the saxophonist Branford Marsalis, in back-to-back sets at Rose Theater on Friday, played what sounded like new music.

Branford and TerenceIn truth some of it was old. (And some of it was really old.) But the flexible musical rhetoric of the sets felt like the right move for the main theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where jazz is often presented with an overarching theme, program notes and a set list published in advance.

Read more »