April 11, 1996
Vol. 15, No. 15

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    Jazz! Performances by Marsalis duo April 19 & 20

    Noted pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis and his son, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, will perform two concerts on campus, one for the general public on Friday, April 19, and one exclusively for members of the University community on Saturday, April 20. Both concerts will begin at 8 p.m. in Mandel Hall. The concerts are sponsored by the Major Activities Board.

    The University Community Service Center is offering free tickets for the Saturday-night concert to the first 50 volunteers to participate in the center's second Service Night and Day on Saturday, April 20. Volunteers will be rebuilding the Cornell Oasis in North Kenwood in the morning and painting apartments at a CHA housing project in Woodlawn in the afternoon. Volunteers can sign up at the Reynolds Club information desk from Monday, April 15, through Friday, April 19. For more information, call UCSC at 753-GIVE.

    Although Branford and Ellis Marsalis may be best known as, respectively, the brother and father of noted jazz and classical trumpet player Wynton Marsalis, the two have blazed trails of their own in the world of music.

    Branford Marsalis has recorded numerous widely acclaimed albums as a band leader and has won two Grammy Awards, in 1993 for his album I Heard You Twice the First Time and in 1994 for "Barcelona Mona," a single he recorded with Bruce Hornsby for the 1992 Olympics. He has played with many non-jazz performers in addition to Hornsby, including Sting and the Grateful Dead.

    Ellis Marsalis, a faculty member at the University of New Orleans, has been performing as a pianist since the 1950s. He initially came to prominence in the 1960s as one of the most influential pianists in New Orleans, performing with such artists as Al Hirt. In more recent years, he has served as mentor to his sons as well as to such other contemporary musicians as Harry Connick Jr., Terence Blanchard and Nicholas Payton. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1985. His two most recent solo albums, both on Columbia Records, are Heart of Gold (1991) and Whistle Stop (1994).

    Together, Ellis and Branford Marsalis have recently released a duet album, Loved Ones (CBS/Sony), a collection of 14 classics in a tribute to women. The album features piano solos and piano/saxophone duets of such American classics as "Maria" from West Side Story, Duke Ellington's "Angelica" and David Raskin's "Laura."

    Tickets for the April 20 University-only concert are $10 for students, $15 for faculty and staff members (UCID required for purchase), and are available at the Reynolds Club box office, 702-7300. For more information, call the MAB office at 702-9729.

    Tickets for the April 19 concert are $25 for general seating, $50 for box seating, and are available through Ticketmaster, 559-1212.