Grammy Award-winning tenor-saxophonist Branford Marsalis, of the noted musical family, will perform at Zoellner Arts Center at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 in An Evening with Branford Marsalis
. Joining Marsalis on stage is Joey Calderazzo, piano; Eric Revis, bass and Jeff “Tain” Watts, drums.
Marsalis returns to Zoellner 15 years after his last appearance at Lehigh. Known for his innovative spirit and broad musical scope, the 44-year-old tenor-saxophonist is equally at home on the stages of the world's greatest jazz clubs and classical halls.
The oldest of the four musical Marsalis brothers, Branford, after studying at Southern University and Berklee, has played with the Art Blakey big band, Clark Terry and Herbie Hancock, and recorded with Miles Davis (1984’s Decoy
). He joined Wynton Marsalis’ group from 1982-85, before leaving to join Sting's pop/rock group. By 1986, he was leading his own group which eventually consisted of pianist Kenny Kirkland, bassist Bob Hurst, and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts. He appeared in two films, School Daze
and Throw Mama from the Train
, and joined Jay Leno's Tonight Show
as the musical director in 1992 for two years.
His final recording for Columbia records, Contemporary Jazz
, garnered the saxophonist's third Grammy Award and captured what Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune
described as "a new level of emotional intensity and instrumental brilliance."
And everybody knows Joey Calderazzo, the phenomenal band pianist. From the time of his emergence with Michael Brecker in 1986 at age 22, through his recent work in the Branford Marsalis Quartet, Calderazzo, has proved to be among the most intense and engaged of contemporary soloists and accompanists.
Grammy-winning bassist/composer Eric Revis has been one of the most solid and forceful voices in the contemporary jazz scene for over 15 years despite his young age. He studied under Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste and Victor Goines at the University of New Orleans, where he played with and learned from Brian Blade, Nicholas Payton, Troy Davis and Chris Thomas to name a few. Revis met Branford Marsalis in 1997 at a recording session. Marsalis was impressed with his playing and asked Revis to join him. They have been working together ever since.
Jeff "Tain" Watts came to fame as a drummer early with the Wynton Marsalis band. He joined the Branford Marsalis Quartet in 1989, and when NBC's The Tonight Show
hired Marsalis as musical director in 1992, Watts went with him. Watts is both a virtuosic and a subtle drummer who is versatile enough to fit into many settings.
This concert replaces An Evening with Sonny Rollins
, which Rollins cancelled.
NOTE: The free 7 pm pre-show talk by trumpet-player Bill Warfield has been cancelled.
Tickets for the May 7 performance are $38 (orchestra/front grand tier), $36 (back grand tier) and $30 (balcony). For tickets, call 610-758-2787 (7LU-ARTS), visit Zoellner Ticket Services, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and two hours before curtain, or order tickets online
. Group, senior and student discounts are available.
This performance is supported in part by Coordinated Health and MetLife, performance sponsor; Sodexho Campus Services, performance co-sponsor; Wachovia, the Zoellner Arts Center 2004-2005 presenting sponsor, and by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.