Friday, June 12, 2009

The Marsalises in D.C.: a father and sons reunion

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 9:41 PM

The Washington Post reports what it calls a "rare and historic moment" in the jazz world:

Except in their living room back home in New Orleans, there have been only a few times when the entire Marsalis family has gathered in one spot to make music together. On Monday, Ellis Marsalis -- the father and guiding spirit of America's first family of jazz -- and his four music-playing sons will appear at the Kennedy Center for their first joint appearance in Washington.

The elder Marsalis will be presented a Lifetime Achievement Award at the fifth annual Duke Ellington Jazz Festival. Then he'll get to work. Still very much an active musician at 74, Marsalis will share the stage with sons Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason, along with special appearances by Billy Taylor and Harry Connick Jr. A fifth Marsalis son, Ellis Marsalis III, will read two poems he's written for the occasion.

What a great event ... just wish it was here, at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre.

And they're not the only hometown folks who'll be at the festival:

There will be free public performances there this weekend by the ReBirth Brass Band, Trombone Shorty, Buckwheat Zydeco, trumpeters Terence Blanchard and Nicholas Payton and blues queen Irma Thomas, among other New Orleans favorites. But the event with the brightest star power will be Monday's Marsalis family reunion at the Kennedy Center. (The concert is sold out.)

As it should be. Good luck, all.

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