Back to the Future with Dynamic Vibraphone Master from New Orleans. In Person & Live at Nighttown with Quartet!
Featuring: Jason Marsalis-vibes, Austin Johnson-piano, Will Goble-bass, & Dave Potter-drums.
“21st Century Trad Band”, the newest record from the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet, in the follow-up to last year´s successful release, “In a World of Mallets”, the group expands on its sound and musical possibilities. This record proves that the tradition doesn´t have to stay in the past. Tradition can indeed be brought into the future.
From a tender young age it was clear that Jason Marsalis had what it took to be great. Jason is the son of pianist and music educator Ellis Marsalis and his wife Dolores, and the youngest sibling of Wynton, Branford and Delfeayo. Together, the four brothers and their patriarch Ellis, comprise New Orleans venerable first family of jazz.
Ellis and Dolores began to cultivate Jason’s interest in music at age three, with the purchase of a toy set of drums. By age six, not only had Jason gotten his first real drum set, but he was also taking lessons from the legendary New Orleans drummer James Black. Jason was progressing so rapidly as a drummer that in 1984 his father started using him consistently on engagements.
Shortly after graduation from arts high school in 1995, Marsalis ascended to the drum throne of a new group lead by virtuoso pianist and former sideman for Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Roberts. Despite a demanding touring schedule with Roberts. It was in 1998 that Jason co-founded the Latin-jazz group Los Hombres Calientes.
In 2000, Jason left the Los Hombres group to attain more focus with the Marcus Roberts trio. It was around that time the Marsalis started to play the vibraphone on gigs in New Orleans. It was in April of 2008 that Marsalis was asked to play the vibraphone with the legendary Lionel Hampton Orchestra at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans. In fall of that year, he was on a double-bill tour with Double-wide and a jazz-fusion group from Denton, Texas, Snarky Puppy. After that tour, Marsalis would make guest appearances with the group and has developed a following amongst the groups fans.
In 2009, the Marsalis Family would receive the NEA Jazz Masters award. In June of that year, the family would appear at the White House and the Kennedy Center to do a tribute show to their father. Later that year, Marsalis would release his first new album in 9 years and his debut album on vibes, “Music Update”.
2013 was a monumental year in which Marsalis released his next recording as a leader on vibes entitled “In a World of Mallets”. The album went to number 1 on the CMJ Radio Charts and also won an Offbeat Magazine award, a New Orleans music magazine, for best Contemporary Jazz Album. There was even recordings from the drum kit as Marcus Roberts released three recordings that year. Two with Wynton Marsalis, “Together Again – In the Studio” and “Together Again – Live in Concert”, and the ambitious original trio suite from Roberts, “From Rags to Rhythm”.
With each passing year Jason Marsalis continues to grow and develop as both a composer and performer. With a fire in his heart and a passion for the music, his will to swing has never been more resolute. The maturity and the command he possesses over his music is clearly evident to those who have heard or seen him.