Saxophonist Branford Marsalis first made his name in 1981 as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers which also featured younger brother Wynton. He then spent a few years in his brother's band before leaving to join Sting’s pop/rock group in 1985. He was Tonight Show bandleader for a couple years after Jay Leno took over as host in 1992.
He continued to perform and record with Sting and further explored music beyond jazz with his hip hop inspired group Buckshot LeFonque. He is also a frequent soloist with classical music ensembles.
Branford Marsalis formed his first quartet in 1986 and this group remains his primary means of musical expression. His current quartet features pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner. Calderazzo and Revis have been in the quartet for two decades and Faulkner joined in 2009 when he was still in his teens, replacing Jeff “Tain” Watts.
Marsalis brings his quartet to Sioux Falls on Wednesday, October 2 for an evening performance at the Washington Pavilion.
Marsalis says the longevity of his quartet’s line-up creates a freedom of adventure because they can play things they couldn’t outside of a regular, consistent working group.