Paradise Jazz Series Kicks Off 20th Anniversary Season with Performance by Branford Marsalis Quartet, September 21

- Marsalis, former DSO Erb Jazz Chair, returns to Orchestra Hall with material from new album The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul

- During Orchestra Hall’s centennial year, Paradise Jazz Series honors venue’s history as Paradise Theatre (1941-1951)

Detroit, (September 11, 2019) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) 2019-2020 Paradise Jazz Series will begin with a one-night-only performance by the Branford Marsalis Quartet. Marsalis is a former Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair and has performed with the DSO many times on both the Classical and Paradise Jazz Series.

The concert takes place Saturday, September 21 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

All season long, the DSO celebrates Orchestra Hall’s centennial year and the 20th anniversary of the Paradise Jazz Series. The Series is named for and honors the legacy of the Paradise Theatre, the jazz and blues venue that took over Orchestra Hall from 1941-1951 as the DSO moved elsewhere.

Just announced: the January 2020 Paradise Jazz Series concert featuring Camila Meza and a DSO string quartet will now be a double bill that includes a tribute to Louis Armstrong with Rodney Whitaker, Marcus Printup, Eric Reed, Herlin Riley, Victor Goines, Vincent Gardner, Rockelle Fortin, and Chris McDole. Armstrong himself performed at the Paradise Theatre’s first concert in 1941.

Elsewhere in the 20th Anniversary Paradise Jazz Series, the Duke Ellington Orchestra will pay tribute to another jazz icon who performed at the Paradise, and Erb Jazz Chair Terence Blanchard will assemble a supergroup revue of artists who have performed on the Series since its inception in 1999—among other highlights. Learn more about the entire Series at

After the Branford Marsalis Quartet concert, the Jeff “Tain” Watts Trio will perform a post-concert set in The Cube, also located within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

The Paradise Jazz Series is made possible with support from MGM Grand Detroit. The Jeff “Tain” Watts Trio performance is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, with additional support from Quicken Loans and The Boston Consulting Group.

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

About Branford Marsalis

After four decades in the international spotlight, the achievements of saxophonist Branford Marsalis continue to grow. 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. Marsalis formerly served as the DSO’s Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair, a post now held by Terence Blanchard.

The Branford Marsalis Quartet, first formed in 1986, remains Marsalis’s primary means of expression. For more than 30 years the Quartet has established a rare breadth of stylistic range and a continuity of personnel. The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul, recorded in Melbourne, Australia during an international tour in spring 2018, contains a mix of challenging original and classic compositions. With its focus on melodic strength and extrasensory interaction, the album confirms that the Branford Marsalis Quartet remains a paragon of uncompromising jazz excellence.

Marsalis continues to excel as one of music’s great collaborators. He has appeared as a sideman with Clark Terry, Art Blakey, and his brother Wynton Marsalis, and he has shared the stage with luminary artists as diverse as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Harry Connick Jr., Sting, Shaggy, and the Grateful Dead.

Classical music also plays a role in Marsalis’s life. Sally Beamish reconceived her composition “Under the Wing of the Rock” to feature Marsalis after hearing him interpret another of her works, and Gabriel Prokofiev wrote his Saxophone Concerto for Marsalis on a joint commission from the DSO and the Naples Philharmonic (FL). Marsalis has performed these and works by Copland, Debussy, Mahler, R.V. Williams, and many others with leading orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. He served as creative director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Ascent Series from 2012-2013.

And Marsalis champions music and the jazz idiom far outside of performance and composition. After directing Columbia’s jazz program he founded the Marsalis Music label in 2002. He has held workshops around the world and established extended teaching relationships with universities including Michigan State, San Francisco State, and North Carolina Central. After the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, Marsalis joined Harry Connick Jr. and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity to create Musicians Village, a community in New Orleans’s Upper Ninth Ward that provides homes to displaced families of musicians and other residents. Marsalis is recognized as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from Tulane University. He is also the winner of three Grammy Awards.

Born in Breaux Bridge, LA and raised in New Orleans, Marsalis is a member of a powerhouse musical family that includes father Ellis and brothers Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason.

Ticket Information

Branford Marsalis Quartet
Saturday, September 21 at 8 p.m. – Orchestra Hall
Tickets begin at $19

Jeff “Tain” Watts Trio
Saturday, September 21 at 10 p.m. – Orchestra Hall
Tickets begin at $18

Tickets for both events can be purchased at, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

Groups of 10 or more can save up to 30% on the price of a single ticket for most DSO concerts. For more information, contact Group Sales Manager Jim Sabatella at (313) 576-5130 or

About the DSO

The most accessible orchestra on the planet, 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. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who recently concluded an acclaimed decade-long tenure at the helm, now serves as the DSO’s Music Director Laureate, endowed by the Kresge Foundation. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while the outstanding trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall will celebrate its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of 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 radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.