Branford Marsalis

Jazz on WGBH with Eric Jackson: Spotlight on Branford Marsalis

Check out Eric Jackson’s Jazz on WGBH episode highlighting the music of Branford Marsalis. Listen here. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on September 16th, 2011 — 11:09am

Ellis Marsalis Music Center crowns Musicians' Village

By Bill Capo
Eyewitness News
August 25, 2011

NEW ORLEANS — There was a standing room only crowd, with actress Renee Zellweger in the audience, for the dedication of the new Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, the centerpiece of Habitat for Humanity’s Musicians Village project in the Ninth Ward.

Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis played key roles in developing the Musicians Village, and the center, but as performers, they called this hall acoustically perfect.

“You’re in the middle of the Upper 9th Ward,” said Connick.  “You’ve got the highest level of state-of-the-art technical facility here. it is like all these worlds coming together.”

“You could bring a string quartet in here, and they could play without one shred of amplification, and everybody in here could hear every note in here regardless of the volume,” raved Marsalis.

“You could also bring Dr. John in here with his full band, and people would love every minute of it.”
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Ellis Marsalis Center for Music has Many 'Fathers'

THE TMES PICAYUNE/ NOLA.com
August 27, 2011
By Keith Spera

Two days before Thursday’s official unveiling of the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, I asked Harry Connick Jr., a driving force behind its creation, if he felt like an expectant father.

“Sort of,” Connick joked. “I guess if I lived in a commune, and it was polygamous, and you didn’t know who the father was.”

His point was, it takes a village to raise a Village. The new,multimillion-dollar arts education center in the Musicians’ Village has many fathers.

Among them were Connick’s close friend, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and the duo’s longtime manager, Ann Marie Wilkins.

She, Connick made clear, handled most of the grunt work — the paperwork, the endless meetings, the logistics, the sweet-talking, the arm-twisting.

“There’s people that are way ahead of me in the credit line for this,” Connick said. “I’ve been a big mouthpiece for it, and tried my best to raise money for it. Ann Marie, they should canonize her. She made this happen. We just do what she says.”

New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, under executive director Jim Pate, developed the Musicians’ Village from an idea Marsalis and Connick hatched while driving to Houston soon after Hurricane Katrina to entertain evacuees.

Ellis Marsalis Center for Music opens in Musicians' Village

Thursday, August 25, 2011
By Keith Spera
The Times-Picayune

On Wednesday afternoon, Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis kicked the proverbial tires at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, the new, multimillion-dollar arts, educational and community center in the upper 9th Ward’s Musicians’ Village.
Marsalis Center for Music
They jokingly checked under classroom desks for gum. They strode the dance studio’s wood floor. They demonstrated the 1.5-millisecond echo in the 150-capacity, acoustically engineered performance hall.

Had such a facility existed when he was a boy, Connick marveled, “I would have been here every day.”

The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, named for Branford’s father, the storied jazz pianist and educator, officially opens today with a private celebration.

Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mayor Mitch Landrieu are expected to speak. Connick, the senior Marsalis, and Branford and several of his siblings are slated to perform.
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Review: Saxophonist Branford Marsalis finds a finger-snapping groove with the Philadelphians

Publication: The Saratogian
Author: Judith White
Date: August 11, 2011

A nearly full moon smiled down on a large, enthusiastic Wednesday night audience for the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Up front was the amazing saxophonist Branford Marsalis, debuting his classical music talents here with the Philadelphians, and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, in a first-time SPAC performance.

I hope you were there: this was a truly original performance, new and different for this venue, and filled with energy and life. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 11th, 2011 — 04:32pm

Branford Marsalis and the Philadelphia Orchestra @ SPAC 8/10/11

Publication: TimesUnion.com
Author: Joseph Dalton
Date: August 11, 2011

SARATOGA SPRINGS -  Whose presence — the soloist, the conductor or certain composers — most enlivened Wednesday’s concert of the Philadelphia Orchestra is hard to pinpoint.  But it was nearly impossible to walk out of the amphitheater at the end of the evening without a lively beat or a good tune in your pocket.

The headliner was saxophonist Branford Marsalis.  Better known for his roots in jazz, he performed beautifully in two brief and colorful concertos. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on August 11th, 2011 — 04:48pm

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis joins The Mountaintop

Publication:    Charged.fm
Author: Demetria Mosley
Date: July 14, 2011

The new Broadway play The Mountaintop, starring Samuel L Jackson and Angela Basset, is set to open October 13th.  The anticipation for the show is quickly building due to Broadway.com’s announcement that composer and saxophonist Branford Marsalis is contributing original music to the production.

Branford Marsalis is a Grammy winning musician and has even been nominated for a Tony for the work he did in the play Fences. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on July 27th, 2011 — 08:25am

Branford Marsalis/Joey Calderazzo, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: Offbeat
Author: David Kunian
Date: August 1, 2011

For the past decade, the Branford Marsalis Quartet has been one of the best working jazz bands on the planet. The tightness of that unit is reflected in this duo recording from saxophonist Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo. Songs of Mirth and Melancholy starts with a jaunty blues from Calderazzo’s pen, “One Way,” that has a relaxed, fun feel to it. However, much of the remainder of the record is more contemplative; there are a lot of slow-tempo numbers that allow the listener to appreciate the beauty of the melodies and tones of the instruments. In that way, the album almost seems like an extension of the Quartet’s 2004 record of ballads, Eternal. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on July 27th, 2011 — 08:44am

Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo Swing Hard, On and Off the Course

Publication: Huffington Post
Author: Kristi York Wooten
Date: July 12, 2011

This is not a blog about golf — although the two jazz musicians/golf players here in question will tell you their attempts to master the sport require almost as much time and energy as prepping for shows at the world’s top music venues.

Yet, when it comes to saxophonist Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo, golf factors into the story only because they first started dueting publicly at charity tournaments, which eventually led to a much-lauded duo gig at the 2009 Newport Jazz Festival — and now, at long last, a full-length CD: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy. Read more »

Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: East Bay Express
Author: Rachel Swan
Date: June 29, 2011

Apparently, the Marsalis-Calderazzo collaboration came about by happenstance — sort of. Calderazzo was already the pianist for Marsalis’ working quartet, and the two decided to perform as a duo at the 2009 Newport Jazz Festival. Sax and piano make an unorthodox combination for sure, but in this case the results were stunning. Marsalisnevermind his pedigree — is such a natural that he can swing without the “trappings” of a traditional rhythm section (to borrow a phrase from San Francisco vocalist Lorin Benedict, who eschews trappings of any sort). Moreover, he’s not strictly a jazz musician. Many of the songs on this mostly original album (save for covers of Brahms’ “Die Trauernde” and Wayne Shorter’s “Face on the Barroom Floor”) sound like baroque or classical music. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on June 29th, 2011 — 10:23am