Monday, August 26th: BRANFORD MARSALIS
Branford Marsalis is an American saxophonist, composer, and bandleader. Born near New Orleans in 1960 to jazz musician Ellis Marsalis, Branford’s first instrument was the clarinet before shifting his attention to alto, tenor and soprano saxophones. After graduating from Berklee College of Music, he joined his brother Wynton in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. The brothers departed to form the first Wynton Marsalis Quintet.
In addition to his jazz output, Branford is an accomplished classical musician and composer of the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of August Wilson’s play “Fences”. He has also spent time touring with Sting, collaborated with the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby, served as Musical Director of The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno and hosted National Public Radio’s widely syndicated Jazz Set. The Marsalis Family was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2011. Branford’s newest album, “The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul,” was recently added to WYCE’s library.
Today is Branford’s 59th birthday.