Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BRANFORD MARSALIS


BIO: World-renowned saxophonist Branford Marsalis, born in 1960, has always been a man of numerous musical interests. The three-time Grammy winner has continued to exercise and expand his skills as an instrumentalist, a composer, and the head of Marsalis Music, the label he founded in 2002 that has allowed him to produce both his own projects and those of the jazz world’s most promising new and established artists. The New Orleans native was born into one of the city’s most distinguished musical families, which includes patriarch/pianist/educator Ellis and Branford’s siblings Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. Branford gained initial acclaim through his work with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and his brother Wynton’s quintet in the early 1980s before forming his own ensemble. He has also performed and recorded with a who’s-who of jazz giants including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins. Known for his innovative spirit and broad musical scope, Branford is equally at home on the stages of the world’s greatest clubs and concert halls, where he has performed jazz with his Quartet, one of the leading small ensembles of the past two decades; classical music as a guest soloist with numerous chamber and symphony orchestras; and his own unique musical approach to contemporary popular music with his band Buckshot LeFonque. His nearly two dozen recordings in these various styles have received numerous accolades, with his most recent CD, the Grammy-nominated Braggtown, acknowledged as his quartet’s greatest recorded achievement to date. Marsalis’ previous disc, 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 the disc received 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 latter campus. Beyond these efforts, he is also bringing a new approach to jazz education to jazz students and jazz listeners in colleges and high schools through Marsalis Jams, an interactive program in which leading jazz ensembles present concert/jam sessions in mini-residencies that have visited campuses in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Southwest. Branford’s diverse interests are also reflected in his other activities. He spent two years touring and recording with Sting, and was the musical director of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno for two years in the 1990s. He has collaborated with the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby, acted in films including Throw Mama from the Train and School Daze, provided music for Mo’ Better Blues and other films and hosted National Public Radio’s syndicated program Jazz Set. Among the most socially conscious voices in the arts, Marsalis quickly immersed himself in relief efforts following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He is the honorary chair of the New Orleans Habitat for Humanity effort to rebuild the city, and together with his friend Harry Connick, Jr. conceived the Habitat Musicians' Village currently under construction in the city's historic Ninth Ward. Whether on the stage, in the recording studio, in the classroom or in the community, Branford Marsalis represents a commitment to musical excellence and a determination to keep music at the forefront.

Latest Articles


Composer Sid Richardson Releases 'Borne By A Wind' Photo Composer Sid Richardson Releases 'Borne By A Wind'
by BWW News Desk - January 05, 2021

On Friday, February 12, 2021, Boston-born composer Sid Richardson releases Borne by a Wind on New Focus Recordings....
Danny Jonokuchi & The Revisionists Win The First Ever Count Basie Great American Swin Photo Danny Jonokuchi & The Revisionists Win The First Ever Count Basie Great American Swing Contest
by BWW News Desk - December 18, 2020

Primary Wave Music Publishing and the Count Basie Estate have announced Danny Jonokuchi & The Revisionists as the winners of the first ever Count Basie Great American Swing Contest. Chosen out of over thirty entries, Jonokuchi and his band won over the judges with their rendition of the Count Basie ...
The First Ever Count Basie Great American Swing Contest Launches Today Photo The First Ever Count Basie Great American Swing Contest Launches Today
by TV News Desk - October 16, 2020

Primary Wave Music Publishing and the Count Basie Estate are looking to foster the next generation of musical talent and have announced their first ever Count Basie Great American Swing Contest....
Noah Haidu's 'Doctone' Out Next Month Photo Noah Haidu's 'Doctone' Out Next Month
by BWW News Desk - September 23, 2020

Pianist Noah Haidu has etched out an uncompromising identity as a pianist and composer by balancing cutting edge songwriting with stirring improvisations. ...
Vocalist Luba Mason Set to Release New Album 'Triangle' Photo Vocalist Luba Mason Set to Release New Album 'Triangle'
by TV News Desk - September 10, 2020

With her last album, Mixtura, vocalist Luba Mason established her own musical genre, a “blend of different musical currents.'...
Eric Revis Flexes Conceptual Sensitivity With Release Of 
'Slipknots Through A Looki Photo Eric Revis Flexes Conceptual Sensitivity With Release Of  'Slipknots Through A Looking Glass'
by BWW News Desk - September 04, 2020

A highly skilled master of sound and sense, GRAMMY award-winning bassist and composer Eric Revis has crafted his artistic legacy around asking the same question again and again: Why not? Experimenting remains integral to his expression. Over the years, the critically-acclaimed artist's willingness t...
Pianist Holly Bowling Embarks on Groundbreaking Wilderness Livestream Tour Photo Pianist Holly Bowling Embarks on Groundbreaking Wilderness Livestream Tour
by TV News Desk - August 31, 2020

Acclaimed pianist Holly Bowling has announced plans for a groundbreaking virtual concert tour, featuring extraordinary solo performances filmed live at some of America’s most spectacular natural locations....
CBS Announces UNITED WE SING: A GRAMMY SALUTE TO THE UNSUNG HEROES Hosted By Harry Co Photo CBS Announces UNITED WE SING: A GRAMMY SALUTE TO THE UNSUNG HEROES Hosted By Harry Connick, Jr.
by TV News Desk - May 29, 2020

CBS and the Recording Academy® announced today a new two-hour special event UNITED WE SING: A GRAMMY® SALUTE TO THE UNSUNG HEROES hosted by GRAMMY and Emmy Award-winning singer and actor Harry Connick, Jr., celebrating essential workers across America. The special will be broadcast Sunday, June 21 (...
Karney Announces New EP BETTER Photo Karney Announces New EP BETTER
by TV News Desk - February 03, 2020

Anna Karney has been making great music for many years, performing across the United States and collaborating with many talented and notable artists. As a solo artist she has put out several singles and EPs, and now with her band KARNEY is set to release a new EP titled BETTER, a stunning collection...
The Soul Rebels Releases Video for 'Greatness' & Heads Out on Tour Photo The Soul Rebels Releases Video for 'Greatness' & Heads Out on Tour
by TV News Desk - January 29, 2020

Brass sensation THE SOUL REBELS, kick off their Poetry In Motion Tour in support of the new genre-bending album. In support of the tour launch, the eight-piece collective are turning heads with a new lyric video for the single “Greatness”, tapped by ESPN as the official soundtrack of the 2019-20 col...
Lizzo, Billie Eilish, & Lil Nas X Lead GRAMMY Nominations - See Full List! Photo Lizzo, Billie Eilish, & Lil Nas X Lead GRAMMY Nominations - See Full List!
by TV News Desk - November 20, 2019

Recording Academy® President/CEO Deborah Dugan alongside Academy Chair of the Board of Trustees and renowned record producer Harvey Mason Jr., as well as GRAMMY Awards® host Alicia Keys and past two-time GRAMMY® nominee Bebe Rexha, today revealed nominees for the 62nd GRAMMY Awards in select categor...
NYO Jazz Heads Out On Debut Tour To Asia This Summer Photo NYO Jazz Heads Out On Debut Tour To Asia This Summer
by BWW News Desk - July 11, 2019

This summer, Carnegie Hall's national youth jazz orchestra NYO Jazz—returns for its second year after a triumphant Carnegie Hall debut and inaugural international tour in 2018. The critically-acclaimed ensemble features 23 outstanding young American jazz musicians (ages 16-19) selected from across t...
Star Kitchen Adds Members of Soulive, The Disco Biscuits, Turkuaz & More To NOLA Line Photo Star Kitchen Adds Members of Soulive, The Disco Biscuits, Turkuaz & More To NOLA Lineup
by BWW News Desk - March 07, 2019

Star Kitchen, the exciting new outfit from bassist Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits), has announced the special guests for their upcoming late-night show at The Maison during this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Sunday, April 28th. For their NOLA late-night, the nascent band—which ...
New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Returns from 3-Year Recording Hiatus with New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Returns from 3-Year Recording Hiatus with "Songs: The Music of Allen Toussaint" on Storyville Records
by BWW News Desk - March 03, 2019

The renowned New Orleans Jazz Orchestra reflects on the wide-ranging influence of the Big Easy's own Allen Toussaint, the legendary composer, singer, pianist, and producer, with the March 29 digital release of "Songs: The Music of Allen Toussaint" on Storyville Records (physical release is...
The Majestic Theatre Presents Michael McDonald Photo The Majestic Theatre Presents Michael McDonald
by TV News Desk - February 11, 2019

Five-time Grammy Award-winner Michael McDonald performs at the Majestic Theatre (224 E. Houston St.) in San Antonio, TX on July 10, 2019 at 8PM. Tickets go on sale this Friday, February 15 at 10AM....
Harris Center Welcomes The Return Of Jazz Great Branford Marsalis Photo Harris Center Welcomes The Return Of Jazz Great Branford Marsalis
by BWW News Desk - December 05, 2018

The oldest son from the First Family of jazz, Branford Marsalis has stayed the course, refining and expanding both his talents and horizons. While classical music is a growing portion of his universe, he has toured with Sting, collaborated with the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby, served as Musical ...
Kurt Elling Sings Christmas at Segerstrom Center for the Arts 12/15 Photo Kurt Elling Sings Christmas at Segerstrom Center for the Arts 12/15
by BWW News Desk - November 19, 2018

Segerstrom Center for the arts presents Grammy® Award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling in a special holiday set “The Beautiful Day” - Kurt Elling Sings Christmas for two performances on December 15 at 7 pm and 9 pm. Declared by The New York Times as “the standout male jazz vocalist of our time,” Kurt El...
Michael McDonald to Bring the Holiday Hits to Philadelphia Region with Season of Peac Photo Michael McDonald to Bring the Holiday Hits to Philadelphia Region with Season of Peace Tour
by BWW News Desk - November 08, 2018

Five-time Grammy Award winner Michael McDonald will bring his Season of Peace, Holiday and Hits Tour to Parx Casino® on Friday, November 30, 2018. Following the release of Season of Peace: The Christmas Collection on BMB, the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter will usher in the holidays in Bucks...
The Mattson 2 Announce MATTSON 2 PLAY A LOVE SUPREME Photo The Mattson 2 Announce MATTSON 2 PLAY A LOVE SUPREME
by BWW News Desk - June 28, 2018

The Mattson 2, the virtuosic guitar-and-drums jazz duo of twin brothers Jonathan and Jared Mattson, announced Mattson 2 Play A Love Supreme, their full album cover of John Coltrane's 1964 masterpiece. The record is due on August 17 on Spiritual Pajamas and finds the brothers translating the iconic s...