Detroit International Jazz Festival wrap-up: A fiery final day

Author: Mike Stratton
Date: September 7, 2010

The theme of this year’s Detroit International Jazz Festival was Flame Keepers, and the heritage and jazz history on display at the festival shows the music to be very much alive and in good hands.

Where else can you see Barry Harris watching Mulgrew Miller from a front row seat? Or young Tia Fuller grab a chair to make sure to catch Roy Haynes’ burning set? Or watch Gerald Wilson grow young before our eyes leading a dynamic big band through some punchy arrangements?

Highlights of the last day of the festival included an amazing set of music by Branford Marsalis Quartet. Caught backstage and asked, “What’s your personal highlight of the festival?” Wess “Warmdaddy” Anderson answered, “This right here.” When questioned what he thought of Branford he answered immediately and authoritatively: “Branford Marsalis is the greatest living saxophonist.”
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Submitted by Ben on September 8th, 2010 — 12:44pm

The Marsalis Family: Music Redeems

Publication: Off-Beat
Author: John Swenson
Date: September 1, 2010

The family band has been a cornerstone of the American entertainment industry since the 19th Century, when singing families became the first domestic music stars. There’s something magic about the way blood relatives interact with each other spiritually and instinctively rather than technically. This is even more important in the African-American music tradition, in which musicians have learned from their relatives for generations. That special relationship is much in evidence on Music Redeems. Liberated from the critical necessity to make a Big Statement or define some new trend, the Marsalis family’s only agenda here is to enjoy playing together.
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Submitted by Ben on August 31st, 2010 — 03:21pm

Branford at 50

Publication: The Gig
Author: Nate Chinen
Date: August 26, 2010

You read that headline correctly: saxophonist Branford Marsalis was born half a century ago today. Some of us will want a minute to absorb that information. Take one if you need it.

Branford has a new album out this week with the Marsalis Family, which is naturally part of his claim to fame. That’s not what I want to talk about here, though. I’d like to talk about the specific achievements of Ellis’ eldest son: as a saxophonist, as a bandleader, and as a public figure besides. (Forgive me, folks, this may get a little personal.)

To view this blog entry in full, please click HERE!

HCJ on Larry King Live and NBC's Nightly News!

Harry Connick, Jr. was featured on several television programs over this past weekend in conjunction with the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In case you missed these appearances, here is a link to a clip from his discussion with Larry King and a link to his interview with Brian Williams. Both took place in his hometown of New Orleans. Enjoy!

Click here to watch a clip from HCJ’s discussion with CNN’s Larry King!

Click here to watch HCJ’s interview with Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News!

Submitted by Ben on August 29th, 2010 — 11:00pm

Exclusive – Branford Marsalis: New Orleans remains in crisis

Publication: Larry King Live on
Author: Branford Marsalis
Date: August 27, 2010

Editor’s Note: Be sure to watch Harry Connick Jr. on LKL tonight from Musicians Village in New Orleans.  Also, check out the Marsallis Family’s new album, “Music Redeems.”  It benefits the Ellis Marsallis Center for Music.

Five years after Hurricane Katrina struck and decimated my hometown, I am certainly buoyed by the rebuilding successes of a city reinforced with an invincible spirit and proud of the strides we have made through our partnership with New Orleans Habitat and through the contributions of individuals from around the world. I am fiercely disappointed, though, by the inconsistency of the attention paid to this disaster between these anniversaries and the lack of a sustained, long-term approach to the rebuilding our city.

New Orleans remains in crisis.
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