Saxophonist Branford Marsalis stopped by the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center for an afternoon visit, before gracing the stage at the Count Basie Performing Arts Center, with the Branford Marsalis Quartet.
During his visit, he confessed that he had never heard of T. Thomas Fortune but the volunteers gave him an earful.
A native of New Orleans, the three time Grammy Award winning Marsalis is known for his brilliant soprano and tenor saxophone playing, a draw dropping list of musical credits, several world tours and so much more. Many delighted in his run as the musical director for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno as he made New York his home for 22 years.
While at the center, he explained that jazz was never really his thing when he was younger, but as he grew, his musical tastes especially when he observed his brother Wynton. His quartet's performance at the Count Basie Theater included the classics On the Sunny Side of the Street, and a beautiful composition titled 1000 Autumns, was as melodically tranquil as it was tearfully beautiful. The experimental improvisation tunes were jolting and exciting and each musician brought all they had to the experience.