Publication: Jazz Police
Author: Ronaldo Oregano
The eldest sibling of the remarkable Marsalis clan and multiple Grammy® award-winner, tenor and soprano saxophonist Branford Marsalis has cut a brilliant path across the international music scene for the past quarter century. Known for his innovative spirit and broad musical scope, Branford is equally at home on the stages of the world’s greatest jazz clubs and classical halls. Marsalis appears on Sunday, March 29th at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon (at Bay), in San Francisco with his superlative quartet, featuring pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and 17-year-old drum phenomenon Justin Faulkner. For tickets visit www.sfjazz.org .
Branford Marsalis brings his keen spirit and searing intelligence to every musical setting from the European canon on his recent CD, Classic Branford Marsalis, and the sprawling funk/ hip-hop of his cool Buckshot LeFonque project, to collaborations with contemporary pop icons like Sting and the Grateful Dead.
Marsalis’s nearly two dozen recordings in these various styles have received numerous accolades, with his latest CD, Metamorphosen, scheduled for release in March 2009. Metamorphosen marks the tenth anniversary of Marsalis’ quartet, which features pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts, and includes original compositions by all four members in a variety of moods, as well as features for Marsalis on tenor, soprano and alto saxophones.
His previous disc, the Grammy-nominated Braggtown, was acknowledged as his quartet’s greatest recorded achievement to date. The Marsalis quartet’s Eternal also received a Grammy nomination as well as virtually universal inclusion in lists and polls for the best jazz recording of 2004. Marsalis’ playing on the DVD Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ Live in Amsterdam also received a Grammy nomination for best instrumental jazz solo, while also garnering awards for music and video excellence from the DVD Association.
Marsalis is also dedicated to changing the future of jazz in the classroom. He has shared his knowledge at such universities as Michigan State, San Francisco State, Stanford and North Carolina Central, with his full quartet participating in an innovative extended residency at the NCCU campus. Beyond these efforts, he is also bringing a new approach to jazz education to student musicians and listeners in colleges and high schools through Marsalis Jams, an interactive program designed by Marsalis in which leading jazz ensembles present concert/jam sessions in mini-residencies. Marsalis Jams has visited campuses in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Southwest, and established an ongoing Marsalis Berklee Jams series with the Berklee College of Music in 2008.