Denise Sullivan

Author, Journalist, Culture Worker

Jazz Appreciation Month: Branford Marsalis

If you’re a faithful reader of this blog, a fan of jazz, or a follower of Branford Marsalis,  I have some news to share:  I recently did an in-depth interview with the mercurial bandleader and composer for the May 2019 issue of DownBeat, available at newsstands throughout the month of April (and also online). The bonus is the timing coincides with National Jazz Appreciation Month and the magazine itself, publishing since 1934, is a jazz treasure: I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a regular contributor, and to have been assigned this story about one of the many accomplished members of the Marsalis family musical dynasty.

There was no subject off-limits in our conversation. Marsalis was open with every question I asked and and he introduced plenty of ideas and topics of his own that moved us beyond music and into other realms. And while our side-roads into botany and archaeology didn’t make the final cut, Marsalis stressed how his divergent interests inform his music.  You can hear how the influences add up on the new album by his quartet, The Secret Between The Shadow And The Soul. Have a listen and let me know what you think about the interview.  As ever, thanks for reading.

Filed under: Arts and Culture, Jazz, new article, , , , ,

Wayne Shorter’s Legend and Legacy

88be2d1eb4124206aeb362e8da4e0f22Saturday night’s celebration of Wayne Shorter’s music in San Francisco turned out to be a symbolic passing of the torch by the Wayne Shorter Quartet to jazz’s new leading lights, Kamasi Washington and Terrace Martin. The LA musicians and their relationship to tradition, innovation and carrying the music forward is similar to the role Shorter and his close collaborator Herbie Hancock played in the ’70s and beyond.  Read the entire review, my take on the show, in DownBeat online. 

Also, in this week’s online issue of DownBeat, my profile on pianist Joey Calderazzo of the Branford Marsalis Quartet on how he beat cubital tunnel syndrome. The story also appears in the January newsstand issue of the magazine: DownBeat has been publishing since 1934 and I am thrilled to have become a regular contributor there. Look for the February issue on newsstands now.

Filed under: Arts and Culture, California, Concerts, cross cultural musical experimentation, Jazz, , , , , ,

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