Branford Marsalis

A Treat for Music Majors

Grammy Award Winner Branford Marsalis Explains His Art to CSUF Students

January 29, 2007

By Pamela McLaren

Cal State Fullerton’s music majors got a special treat Friday, Jan. 26, when they stepped into Meng Concert Hall to hear what drives the creative process for Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis.
Marsalis, part of a musical family that includes his father, Ellis, and brothers Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason, is an active performer, composer and record label head. He has been performing professionally since 1984, when he recorded his first album for Columbia Records.
Well known for his stint as music director of the Tonight show, Marsalis has won three Grammys, including awards for Best Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group, for the albums “I Heard You Twice the First Time” in 1993 and “Contemporary Jazz” in 2001. Not only does he appear with the Branford Marsalis Quartet, he has played with numerous symphonies throughout America and Europe, including the Chicago, Seattle, Baltimore, Dusseldorf and Rotterdam Philharmonic.
In 2002, Marsalis founded his own music label, Marsalis Music. Since its founding, the label has released 13 compact disks and three DVDs.
In addition to his appearance at Cal State Fullerton, Marsalis has shared his knowledge at such universities as Michigan State, San Francisco State, Stanford and North Carolina Central. He has formed Marsalis Jams, an interactive program in which leading jazz ensembles present concert/jam sessions in mini-residencies that have visited the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and the Southwest.
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