Branford Marsalis Quartet
@ Queen Elizabeth Hall
14 November 2014
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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
"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 Buckshot LeFoqnue.
Marsalis has taught at Michigan State University. He currently
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
Who knows what’s around the corner?