skip to Main Content

Branford Marsalis Quartet

Waltons World Masters Series

‘a world-class contemporary band at the height of its powers’
– The Guardian

Click on the tabs for information.


When Wednesday 3 July 2013
Where National Concert Hall, Dublin, Main Auditorium
Presented by Waltons New School of Music
Supported by RTÉ lyric fm, Dublin Conrad Hotel

Branford Marsalis Quartet

Branford Marsalis • saxophones
Joey Calderazzo • piano
Eric Revis • bass
Justin Faulkner • drums

‘Branford Marsalis continues to push jazz in the directions that this art should seek for eternity.’
– all about jazz

‘a world-class contemporary band at the height of its powers’
– The Guardian

‘a unit with telepathic intuition and unbridled adventurousness, held together by a singular creative vision’
– Billboard

‘[Jazz] has produced an unending string of virtuoso players, which creates its own dilemma. No matter how well you play your instrument(s), someone else out there is as good or better, so becoming top dog is not only about technique and chops but about intangibles like vision, attitude and emotional depth. One of the things that set Marsalis apart is his fearless attitude, his willingness to let the music carry him wherever it will.’
– Offbeat

Quite simply, Branford Marsalis is among the most revered instrumentalists of his times and one of the most important jazz artists working today. This great saxophonist cut his teeth with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and his brother Wynton’s quintet, and he has performed and recorded with a who’s-who of jazz giants, including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins. Branford has also collaborated with such diverse artists as Sting, the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby. The Branford Marsalis Quartet – including pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis, and now 21-year-old drumming prodigy Justin Faulkner – is one of the greatest jazz quartets in the world. Assertive, precise, and expressive of a timeless yet daring sensibility, the rigor and historical depth of their music is unparalleled. This superb quartet performs both refreshed standards and classic originals, helmed by the most trustworthy arbiter of the state of the art.

From the time of his emergence with Michael Brecker in 1986 through his recent work in the Branford Marsalis Quartet, pianist Joey Calderazzo has proved to be among the most intense and engaged of contemporary soloists and accompanists. His energy, technique and rapid fire imagination have marked him as one of the most exciting jazz pianists to emerge in the past three decades. Grammy Award winning bassist Eric Revis started his professional career playing with Betty Carter and for the past eighteen years has been a member of the Branford Marsalis Quartet; he has also released four acclaimed albums as leader of his own group, the most recent City of Asylum (2013). A child prodigy, Justin Faulkner played his first professional jazz gig at the age of 13 and has since performed around the world with an extraordinary array of great musicians, from Pharoah Saunders to Christian McBride. This is his fourth year with the Branford Marsalis Quartet.

Branford Marsalis

Branford Marsalis is a truly extraordinary musician. A three-time Grammy Award winner and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, he has continued to exercise and expand his skills as an instrumentalist, a composer, and the head of Marsalis Music, the label he founded in 2002 that has allowed him to produce both his own projects and those of the jazz world’s most promising new and established artists.

Marsalis made his Broadway debut as the composer of original music for the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of August Wilson’s play Fences. Marsalis received a Tony nomination for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre and a 2010 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a Play for his participation. Following these successes, Marsalis was asked to score the 2011 Broadway premiere of The Mountaintop starting Samuel Jackson and Angela Bassett.

Leader of one of the finest jazz quartets today, as well as a frequent soloist with classical ensembles, Marsalis has become increasingly sought after as a featured soloist with such acclaimed orchestras as the Chicago, Detroit, Düsseldorf, and North Carolina Symphony Orchestras, with a growing repertoire that includes compositions by Copland, Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Milhaud, Rorem and Vaughn Williams. His propensity for innovative thinking has also compelled him to seek new and challenging works by modern classical composers such as Scottish composer Sally Beamish who, after hearing Marsalis perform her composition The Imagined Sound of Sun on Stoneat the 2006 North Sea Jazz Festival, was inspired to re-conceive Under the Wing of the Rock, which he premiered as part of the Celtic Connections Festival in 2009.

Making his first appearance with the New York Philharmonic in the summer of 2010, Marsalis was again invited to join them as soloist in their 2010-2011 concert series where he unequivocally demonstrated his versatility and prowess, bringing ‘a gracious poise and supple tone…and an insouciant swagger’ (New York Times) to the repertoire.

In 2011, the National Endowment for the Arts conferred the prestigious Jazz Masters Fellowship on the Marsalis Family, a celebration and acknowledgement of a family described by the New York Times as ‘jazz’s most storied living dynasty’ who have made an indelible mark, collectively and individually, on the history and the future of jazz, America’s art form.

The Branford Marsalis Quartet explores the limits of musical adventure and band cohesiveness on their most recent album, Four MFs Playin’ Tunes. A nimble and sparkling album, it features ambitious original compositions by members of the band, a Thelonious Monk classic and one standard dating to 1930. The album blends the beautiful and subtle ballad sounds of 2004’s Eternal with the ecstatic contrasts of their critically-acclaimed Braggtown.

Dedicated to changing the future of jazz in the classroom, Marsalis has shared his knowledge at such universities as Michigan State, San Francisco State, Stanford and North Carolina Central, with his full Quartet participating in an innovative extended residency at the NCCU campus. Beyond these efforts, he is also bringing a new approach to jazz education to student musicians and listeners in colleges and high schools through Marsalis Jams, an interactive program designed by Marsalis in which leading jazz ensembles present concerts/jam sessions in mini-residencies. Marsalis Jams has visited campuses around the US.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans native joined forces with his old friend Harry Connick, Jr. to conceive the New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Village, a newly constructed community in the city’s historic Upper Ninth Ward that provides homes for displaced residents, including musicians and their families. At the heart of the Village stands the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, a magnificent facility with performance, instructional and practice spaces and a recording studio.

Whether on the stage, in the recording studio, in the classroom or in the community, Branford Marsalis embodies a commitment to musical excellence and a determination to keep music at the forefront.

Read another profile of Branford Marsalis in the Paris Review.

Concert Photo Gallery

Photographs of the Waltons World Masters • Branford Marsalis Quartet performance in the National Concert Hall. (Taken by Leopoldo Osío of Dublin Jazz Photography. All photos © Dublin Jazz Photography.)

Selected YouTube Videos

Branford Marsalis Quartet
Back To Top