Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis performs at Orchestra Hall on DSO's Paradise Jazz Series, April 5

Civic Jazz Orchestra gives an opening performance in The Cube prior to the concert

Tickets on sale now at

Detroit, (March 13, 2024) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will continue its Paradise Jazz Series with a performance by acclaimed saxophonist Branford Marsalis. This one-night-only concert will take place on Friday, April 5 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall.

One of the most revered figures in contemporary music representing “the highest echelon of jazz tenor saxophonists” (Los Angeles Times), Marsalis will perform virtuosic improvisations and uncompromising interpretations of jazz classics and original music on Orchestra Hall stage with his quartet formed in 1986. The group—comprised of Marsalis (saxophone), Joey Calderazzo (piano), Eric Revis (bass), and Justin Faulkner (drums)—is known for its extraordinary energy and has long been recognized as the standard by which other ensembles of its kind are measured.

Prior to the performance, the Civic Jazz Orchestra, part of the DSO’s Civic Youth Ensembles, will give an opening performance in the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube (The Cube) directed by Vincent Chandler.

Please note: the DSO does not appear on these performances.

An Evening with Branford Marsalis will take place on Friday, April 5 at 8 p.m. in Orchestra Hall. Tickets for this performance start at $19. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Subscriptions for the 2023-2024 Paradise Jazz Series can be purchased at

Marsalis will return to the DSO this September to kick off the 2024–2025 season, appearing as soloist with the DSO in its much anticipated Opening Night Gala on September 28, 2024, as well as the first concerts of the PVS Classical Series. 

Currently in its 24th season, the Paradise Jazz Series is named for and honors the legacy of the Paradise Theatre, the historic Detroit jazz venue that was on the site of Orchestra Hall from 1941–1951. The DSO is one of few major American orchestras to present regular jazz programming on its main stage. Acclaimed trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and educator Terence Blanchard has served as the DSO’s Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair since 2012. Learn more about the series at

The Paradise Jazz Series is supported by the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, MGM Grand Detroit, and DownBeat magazine.


Paradise Jazz Series
Friday, April 5 at 8 p.m.
Orchestra Hall
Branford Marsalis, saxophone
Joey Calderazzo, piano
Eric Revis, bass
Justin Faulker, drums
NEA Jazz Master and three-time Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis returns to Orchestra Hall with his quartet. One of the most revered figures in contemporary music representing “the highest echelon of jazz tenor saxophonists” (Los Angeles Times), Marsalis presents a one-night-only concert with virtuosic improvisations and uncompromising interpretations of jazz classics and original music.

The Branford Marsalis Quartet, featuring Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and Justin Faulkner on drums, is known for its extraordinary energy and has long been recognized as the standard by which other ensembles of its kind are measured.

Related Events:

Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m.
The Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube
Civic Jazz Orchestra, ensemble
Vincent Chandler, director
Civic Jazz Live! is the opening act for the DSO’s Paradise Jazz Series, featuring student musicians from the Civic Youth Ensembles’s Civic Jazz Orchestra, directed by Vincent Chandler. Join us in The Cube before the show!


About Branford Marsalis 
Branford Marsalis continues to thrill audiences around the world while racking up achievements across diverse musical platforms, even after four decades in the international spotlight. From his initial recognition as a young jazz lion, he has expanded his vision as an instrumentalist, composer, bandleader, and educator, crossing stylistic boundaries while maintaining an unwavering creative integrity. In the process, he has become an avatar of contemporary artistic excellence winning three Grammy Awards, a Tony Award nomination for his work as a composer on Broadway, a citation by the National Endowment for the Arts as Jazz Master, and a 2021 Primetime Emmy Award nomination for the score he composed for the Tulsa Burning documentary.

Growing up in the rich environment of New Orleans as the oldest son of pianist and educator, the late Ellis Marsalis, Branford was drawn to music along with siblings Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason. The Branford Marsalis Quartet, formed in 1986, remains his primary performance vehicle. In its virtually uninterrupted three-plus decades of existence, this celebrated ensemble is revered for its uncompromising interpretation of a kaleidoscopic range of both original compositions and jazz and popular classics. After the Grammy Award-nominated Upward Spiral, the quartet followed up with the Grammy Award-nominated The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul, an emotionally wide-ranging and melody-driven collection. John Zeugner captured the impact of the quartet in live performance in a recent concert review, calling it “casually confident, professional, cerebral, and supercharged with energy. The Branford Marsalis Quartet...was all of those adjectives and more.”

Marsalis has not confined his music to the jazz quartet context. He recently composed a classical Suite commissioned by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. A frequent soloist with classical ensembles, Marsalis is increasingly sought after as a featured soloist with acclaimed orchestras around the world, performing works by composers such as Copeland, Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Milhaud, Rorem, Vaughan Williams, and Villa-Lobos. And his legendary guest performances with the Grateful Dead and collaborations with Sting have made him a fan favorite in the pop arena. Marsalis’s screen credits as a composer include original music for: Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks starring Oprah Winfrey, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom starring Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman, the History Channel’s documentary Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre, and Rustin starring Colman Domingo. The Netflix film Rustin has garnered attention and praise with critics calling the score scintillating, kinetic, vibrant, maintaining the “buoyancy of a man who refused to be kept down.” The critically acclaimed Ma Rainey is the Netflix film adaptation of two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson’s play, produced by Denzel Washington. And in reviewing the score Vanity Fair proclaimed “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a story in which the music has to be authentic and the details need to be correct. It requires the musical oversight of someone who has this history in his blood. It requires Branford Marsalis.” While The Guardian noted “Marsalis’s work, both recreation and original composition, is as close to perfection as I could imagine.”

He received a 2021 Emmy Award nomination for the original music he composed and produced for Tulsa Burning in the Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score) category. His work on Broadway has garnered a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award nomination for the acclaimed revival of Fences. His previous Broadway efforts include music for the revivals of Children of a Lesser God and A Raisin in the Sun, as well as The Mountaintop which starred Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson.

Marsalis is also committed to the development of the next generation of musicians. He enjoys working with students and has formed an extended relationship with North Carolina Central University where he has been teaching for the past eighteen years. He has also taught at Michigan State University and San Francisco State University and continues to conduct workshops throughout the world.

In the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, Marsalis, along with friend Harry Connick, Jr., conceived of “Musicians’ Village,” a residential community in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The centerpiece of the Village is the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, honoring Branford’s father. The Center uses music as the focal point of a holistic strategy to build a healthy community and to deliver a broad range of services to underserved children, youth and musicians from neighborhoods battling poverty and social injustice. In January 2024, Marsalis was appointed as Artistic Director at the Center, where he will shape the artistic trajectory and steer the organization's creative vision for the future.

About the DSO
The acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. Led by Music Director Jader Bignamini since 2020, the DSO makes its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, offering a performance schedule that features the PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in metro area venues, as well as eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings. A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a live radio broadcast of a concert and continues today with the groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series of free webcasts.

Since its first school concerts a century ago, and particularly since the founding of the Civic Youth Ensembles in 1970, the DSO has been a national leader in bringing the benefits of music education to students, teachers, and families in Detroit and surrounding communities. The DSO remains committed to expanding its participation in the growth and well-being of Detroit through programs like its Detroit Neighborhood Initiative—cultural events co-created with community partners and residents—and Detroit Harmony, a promise to provide an instrument and instruction to any student in the city who wants to learn. With unwavering support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact lives through the power of unforgettable musical experiences.