Branford Marsalis

Branford Marsalis ( born August 26, 1960 in New Orleans) is an American jazz saxophonist, composer and music producer.

Life and work

Branford Marsalis is one of the musical Marsalis dynasty, in addition to father Ellis (piano) and the brothers Delfeayo (trombone), Jason (drums) and Wynton (trumpet ) has brought forth. He plays mainly tenor and soprano saxophone. In addition to the interaction with his family, he received his musical education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Marsalis began his professional career in 1980 in Art Blakey's Big Band, Art Blakey 's Jazz Messengers and the band by Clark Terry. From 1982 to 1985 he played in the group of his brother Wynton Marsalis. Miles Davis hired him in 1983 for the recording of a piece in the album Decoy. The international breakthrough came through his work with the pop icon Sting. Then it booked regularly, other well-known pop musicians such as James Taylor, Tina Turner, Bruce Hornsby or Youssou N'Dour. In 1992 he was guest soloist on David Murray's album Fast Life.

In addition to numerous jazz albums, he is also successful with his crossover band Buckshot LeFonque and two classical recordings and proves a great stylistic versatility. For several film scores he steered his saxophone playing at ( The Russia House, sneakers ), and in a particularly fruitful way as a composer for the films of the African- American director Spike Lee as in School Daze (1988 ), Do the Right Thing ( 1988), Mo ' Better Blues (1990 ), When the levees Broke (2006).

From 1992 to 1994 he was director of the Tonight Show Band of the American late-night talkers Jay Leno. He then played the concept - album Buck LeFonque that combined jazz with hip-hop, rhythm and blues and rock music. There followed a senior position at Columbia Records in New York. The experience there ultimately led him to found his own record label, Marsalis Music in Cambridge, Boston in 2002. In the 2000s Marsalis came increasingly into classical music ( " classical music ").

Along with Harry Connick Jr. and Habitat for Humanity, he founded the end of 2005 in New Orleans, the project Musicians ' Village, to musicians to settle in an artists' colony again, where Hurricane Katrina had taken her home. The project was supported with benefit concerts and donations. 2011 opened in the center of the colony, a concert and educational buildings, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music. A total of 72 houses were built.

Discography (selection)

  • Four MFs Playin ' Tunes ( Marsalis Music, 2012)
  • Songs of Mirth and Melancholy (2011)
  • Metamorphoses (2009)
  • Bragg Town ( 2006)
  • Eternal ( 2004)
  • Romare Bearden (2003)
  • Footsteps Of Our Fathers (2002)
  • Requiem (1999, Columbia)
  • Music Evolution (1997, Columbia)
  • Buck LeFonque (1994, Columbia)
  • Crazy People Music (1990, CBS)
  • Trio Jeepy (1989, Sony BMG)
  • Random Abstract (1988, CBS)
  • Royal Garden Blues ( 1986)
  • Scenes In The City (1984 )


  • 2004: Downbeat Critics Poll winner in the categories: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, jazz album Romare Bearden, Rising star producer
  • 2010: ECHO Jazz in the category " Instrumentalist / in the year internationally - Saxophone / Woodwinds " for Metamorphoses


  • Branford Marsalis. The love for New Orleans. Documentary, Germany, 2012, 52 min, written and directed by Reinhold Jaretzky, Production: Magic Mountain film, hr, arte, German First broadcast: March 6, 2013 in arte, Summary of ARD.