Branford Marsalis

Artist Picture

Branford Marsalis


Branford Marsalis is an award-winning saxophonist, band leader, featured classical soloist, and a film and Broadway composer. Over the span of his decades long career, he has become a multi award-winning artist with three Grammys, Emmy and Tony Award nominations, a citation by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master, and an avatar of contemporary artistic excellence.

Marsalis is increasingly sought after as a featured soloist with such acclaimed orchestras as the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, and the Chicago, Detroit, North Carolina, and Düsseldorf symphonies, with a repertoire that includes compositions by Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Milhaud, Rorem, Vaughn Williams, and John Williams. He has toured with chamber orchestras such as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong.

Emerging from the global pandemic in January 2022, Marsalis first returned to the New York Philharmonic to perform John Adams’s Saxophone Concerto, which highlighted his incredible agility and the instrument’s lyrical voice. Marsalis then launched a tour with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, in a program which explored the intersectionality of jazz and classical music with repertoire selections including Debussy’s jazz-inspired Rhapsody for alto saxophone and chamber orchestra. Later that year, he performed John Williams’s Escapades in Tanglewood’s celebration of Williams’s 90th birthday. In 2023, Marsalis performed with symphonies in Miami, Greensboro, Toledo, and Corpus Christi, as well as with the Warsaw Philharmonic and Calgary Philharmonic. He also traveled to Tokyo and Kyoto to perform with the Makoto Ozone group in Japan. Marsalis recently composed a symphony commissioned by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, which premieres March 2024.

Even as he tours the world as a featured classical soloist, Marsalis continues to perform with The Branford Marsalis Quartet, which he formed in 1986. His work on Broadway has garnered a Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nominations for the acclaimed revivals of Children of a Lesser God, Fences, and A Raisin in the Sun. As a composer for film and television, his screen credits include original music composed for: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks starring Oprah Winfrey, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman, Rustin starring Colman Domingo, and the Emmy Award-nominated Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre.