@ The Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
16 November 2009 & 15 November 2005
Click an image to enlarge.
Born on August 26, 1960, saxophonist Branford Marsalis
is the eldest son of Dolores Marsalis and piano legend Ellis Marsalis.
Like many jazz giants before him, Branford studied at NOCCA and
Berklee College of music in Boston before taking to the road. He
would explore jazz in the raw with the likes of Lionel Hampton and
Clark Terry before joining his brother (Wynton) with the Art Blakey
Jazz Messengers in 1981. Branford would continue further exploration
with his brother’s original quintet, while also finding time
to tour and record with Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis.
Branford’s much anticipated debut release
as a bandleader came in the form of “Scenes In The City”,
released in 1984:
"I wanted to produce an album that was different
from the music I'd already recorded with Art Blakey and Wynton Marsalis”.
Branford Marsalis’ natural eclecticism has
led him to many collaborations and music related projects. To date
he has performed with The Grateful Dead, Sting and several classical
orchestras, such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal
Philharmonic Orchestra to name a few. Marsalis has produced artists
such as Frank
McComb – and the Hip-hop influenced experimental group
Marsalis has taught at Michigan State University.
He currently teaches at
San Francisco State while still performing with his quartet at established
After nearly 20 years with Columbia records, Marsalis
decided it was time to launch his own record label. Marsalis Music
was formed in 2002. Branford explains:
“… We want to provide a service
to the community first. We want to create an atmosphere where people
who make creative music can be heard.”
To date Marsalis Music has released eleven compact
discs and two DvD’s, which reflect the labels’ concept.
This Grammy award winning saxophonist / composer / producer / ‘music
lover’ just never seems to rest. He cannot be pinned down
to one task alone. His creative skills and passion encompass many
genres and musical projects.
Who knows what’s around the corner?