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Branford Marsalis Quartet at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts



It was New Orleans pianist Ellis Marsalis who first established the family name in jazz circles back in the 1960s, and his trumpeter son Wynton who made the rest of the world take notice by releasing back-to-back 1984 albums that topped the classical and jazz charts. But it wasn’t long before brother Branford began to catch up. After stints in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and the Wynton Marsalis Quartet, the saxophonist became a bandleader in his own right. He’s since recorded roughly one album a year for the past three decades, while participating in such extracurricular activities as leading the Tonight Show band and emceeing the ‘90s hip-hop group Buckshot LeFonque. While it can be risky to generalize — the Marsalises have, after all, proven that they can master whatever style of music they choose — Branford’s approach tends to come across as a bit less studied, and with a bit more swing, than that of his brother Wynton. The Branford Marsalis Quartet’s latest release Upward Spiral — which finds vocalist Kurt Elling crooning on tracks like “Blue Velvet” and the Porgy and Bess number “There’s a Boat Dat’s Leavin’ Soon for New York” — clearly places melodic execution over jazz deconstruction. Expect the quartet’s live show to provide a satisfying mix of both.

Thursday, Aug. 3, 7 p.m.; 304 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, more information, including ticket prices, at

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