The Marsalis Family band hits the road
Inspired by a New Orleans concert in August 2001 celebrating patriarch Ellis Marsalis’ retirement from teaching at the University of New Orleans, a tour , a PBS special, a recording and a DVD are now in the works. The Marsalis family tour (check dates), kicks off on February 23.
It features Ellis Marsalis on piano, with sons Branford on saxophones, Wynton on trumpet, Delfeayo on trombone and Jason on drums, and the only non-family member, Reginald Veal on bass.
West Coast fans will have to be content with reproduced performances by this celebrated band of brothers and their father. The first entry is a CD chronicling the 2001 concert, titled “The Marsalis Family: A Jazz Celebration”, scheduled for release on Branford’s new independent record label, Marsalis Music, on Feb. 4. Harry Connick Jr., a longtime Marsalis associate, makes a guest appearance.
It was, says Delfeayo, a performance that “reflected our family collectively and individually.” Branford agrees, adding that “everybody came to play the music as well as they possibly could play it.”
A PBS presentation of the same concert, premiering on Feb. 20, visually illuminates those thoughts. And, finally, there will be a DVD version of the same performance, scheduled for spring, which will undoubtedly include all sorts of additional bits and pieces of outtakes, interviews, etc…, not on the CD or the special.