Many have tried, but prior to the evening of August 4, 2001, none had succeeded in bringing Ellis Marsalis and all four of his music-playing sons together on the same bandstand. Dovetailing schedules is no simple matter for the members of the most prominent and active family in jazz. It was not until the University of New Orleans scheduled a tribute concert to mark Ellis’ retirement from its music faculty and the establishment of a chair in his honor that the much-anticipated conjunction took place. The event was guaranteed to be memorable, but could it live up to the expectations that had been building for the better part of two decades?
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