Preview: Grammy-winner Branford Marsalis to jazz up SU's family weekend

Marsalis brings his brand of Coltrane-influenced jazz to the Schine Student Center on Sunday.

A jive “cat” with a cosmopolitan spirit and a broad musical scope, saxophonist Brandford Marsalis plays anything, (from jazz, blues and funk to classical music) and anywhere, (from small jazz clubs to the world’s largest concert halls). It’s no wonder this New Orleans native is a three-time Grammy award winner.

An innovative musician, composer and producer, Marsalis joined virtuoso pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Jeff Tain and formed the Branford Marsalis Quartet more than a decade ago. Veteran musicians Marsalis, Calderazzo, Revis and new drummer Justin Faulkner will jazz up Syracuse University’s Family Weekend and bring the swing on the stage of the Goldstein Auditorium in the Schine Student Center Sunday, September 26 at 2 p.m.

The quartet’s most recent album, Metamorphosen, is a nine-track metaphor for the growth the band has experienced in recent years. The song “The Return of the Jitney Man” is perhaps a reference to Marsalis’ return to alto sax, in addition to his more familiar soprano and tenor saxophones.

Nevertheless, the Grammy-winning Braggtown, released in 2006, is considered the quartet’s most stellar work. Named for a neighborhood in Durham, N.C., the seven-track album is a lesson in contemporary jazz based on John Coltrane’s musical concepts. 

The record dons Coltrane’s “burnout” style, a deliberately intense and focused jazz technique, which Marsalis has grown to master. His live instrumental interpretation of Coltrane’s “Love Supreme” in Amsterdam garnered him a Grammy nomination.

A versatile and tireless artist, Marsalis has performed alongside jazz giants including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins. Recently, he’s been playing classical music with the Chicago, Detroit, Düsseldorf and North Carolina Symphonies. Last year, he joined a two-month music tour with Philarmonia Brasileira, which featured famed Brazilian master composer Heitor Villa Lobos and French composer Darius Milhaud last year.

Branford Marsalis will perform Sunday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. in the Goldstein Auditorium of the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center. Tickets are  $20 and are available at the Schine Box Office or online; more information is available at

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