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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

New Names on Jazz's Honor Roll

Publication: New York Times
Author: Nate Chinen
Date: January 12, 2011
Jazz is a living art, its lexicon in a perpetual state of renewal. But it also has a clear, strong center, as an art form and as a set of practices. That’s one reason for the aftershocks that inevitably follow the loss of an important jazz elder. And it’s one more reason for the continuing cultural value of the NEA Jazz Masters awards, which have been bestowed each year since 1982 by the National Endowment for the Arts. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on January 21st, 2011 — 03:14pm

Marsalis family named Jazz Masters

Publication: CBS News.com
Date: January 12, 2011

 

Jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr.  and four of his

 accomplished musician sons — Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason — have received the highest jazz honour in the U.S.

The National Endowment for the Arts honoured the family of New Orleans musicians as Jazz Masters at a ceremony Tuesday night in New York, at the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater. Read more »

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

A Family of Masters

Publication: Jazziz.com
Date: January 6, 2010

Pretty much everyone in the Marsalis family who plays an instrument, from patriarch Ellis on down, will be honored with a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award on January 11 at the Rose Theater of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The Award is given to living legends that have made significant contributions to jazz. Certainly the Marsalis’ fit the criteria. Both individually and collectively, they have long been highly visible champions of preserving and expanding jazz through music education, production and musicianship. 

On Monday, January 10 at 1 p.m., the 2011 Jazz Masters will present a panel discussion moderated by A.B. Spellman open to the public on a first come, first served basis in the Varis-Leichtman Studio at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on January 7th, 2011 — 04:08pm