Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Branford Marsalis at Kingsbury Hall on Tuesday
First Published Feb 01 2013 12:04 pm • Last Updated Feb 01 2013 12:04 pm

The saxophonist and bandleader of the Branford Marsalis Quartet grew up in Louisiana and has lived on both coasts.

But nearly a decade ago, Marsalis picked up his family and moved again to the South, where he appreciates the small-town vibe of Durham and neighbors who say hello. "New York and Los Angeles are the same place, with a slightly different smell," he said.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

It wasn’t until around 1999, when he was nearly 40, that Marsalis said he became serious about studying his craft. "I was just living off my talent," he said. He had just finished a stint touring with Sting, where people would tell him that he was an amazing player. But it wasn’t until he started poking his head into jazz and classical circles that he was told the truth. "They told me I was terrible, and ‘You suck,’ " Marsalis said.

Since then, he plays the saxophone every day (instead of once a month, which was his practice) and has assembled a quartet that features Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass and young Justin Faulkner on drums.

Faulkner is headstrong and thinks highly of himself, Marsalis said, but added that "it’s rare to find a person that young with such an extraordinary talent." When the drummer joined the band three years ago, each of the three other members gave him a list of things he needed to work on. "Over a period of two years, he addressed everything we had on our lists," Marsalis said.

But setting aside minor squabbles, Faulkner’s talent has elevated the band. "We always play with an incredible intensity," Marsalis said. "[But] we had to relearn to match his intensity."

The most recent album from the quartet is "Four MF’s Playin’ Tunes,"and the remarkable aspect is that this record has two originals by each of the three veterans of the band. Marsalis said he always wants to record music from the best of what is out there, regardless of who wrote it. In music, as in football, a quarterback might get the credit and glory, but the on-field generals are only great when they have a great offensive line.

"You can’t have a band unless they are equals. Mathematics says you can’t write 10 great songs [for one album]," said Marsalis, before adding: "Stevie Wonder did it once."

Calderazzo and Revis have played with Marsalis for years. But then there’s his road manager and sound engineer, who have worked with him 27 and 22 years, respectively. "I guess it means I’m not as much a jerk as people say I am," he joked.

Branford Marsalis

story continues below
story continues below

When • Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Where • Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle, University of Utah campus, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $34.50-$64.50; kingsburyhall.utah.edu; $5 for U. students with valid ID

Parking • Free parking is available at Rice Eccles Stadium, with shuttle service available from south side of the lot before and after the performance.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.