Jazz master, renowned Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and composer, Branford Marsalis is a revered instrumentalist – immersed in the jazz tradition, but completely of today.
Leader of one of jazz’s finest quartets, and a frequent soloist with classical ensembles, Marsalis’ blend of consummate artistry, thrilling ensemble interplay and the ability to create jazz-club intimacy on a larger stage makes him one of the most compelling players in the world.
Marsalis has not confined his music to the quartet context. In addition to guest turns with a legion of jazz giants including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins, he has performed with artists as diverse as Sting, The Grateful Dead, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and his boyhood friend Harry Connick Jr. In 2011 he was a group recipient of an NEA Jazz Masters Award alongside his father and brothers.
This magical opening night performance is the ideal starting point for the 2018 Melbourne International Jazz Festival.
Opening Act: Gregg Arthur Qunitet
Celebrated Australian vocalist Gregg Arthur with the Peter Locke Quartet, performing new arrangements of songs by Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and songs written by Gregg Arthur and Peter Locke from their new album “In A Sentimental Mood”, featuring the masterful Craig Scott on bass and young newcomers Tim Geldens on drums and Michael Avgenicos on tenor sax.