- Communications Manager
Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling, photo by Palma Kolansky
The Branford Marsalis Quartet returns to Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts after a sold out performance in 2012. Jazz vocalist Kurt Elling joins the quartet in a collaboration of musical forces on October 1 at 8 p.m. as part of the 2016-2017 Candler Concert Series.
The tight-knit Branford Marsalis Quartet, featuring Marsalis on saxophone, Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and Justin Faulkner on drums, rarely invites other musicians into the fold of its cohesive unit, but Elling’s deep jazz vocabulary, technical versatility, and outstanding intonation enable the ensemble to perform a variety of material in new ways.
A series of conversations among the quartet led to the creation of their new album Upward Spiral, which features Elling as guest vocalist. “One topic we got into was picking the best singer to work with our band,” Marsalis recalls. “My candidate was Kurt Elling, because he has the most flexible voice around, is always in tune, and is a true jazz musician.”
Energized by this collaboration, the band members have all contributed new arrangements for the evening’s special lineup.
The Candler Concert Series presents the Branford Marsalis Quartet with special guest Kurt Elling on Saturday, October 1 at 8 p.m. in the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts (1700 N. Decatur Road, Atlanta 30322). Limited tickets remain for this concert. All remaining seats are located in the Choral Balcony, behind the performers on stage. Choral Balcony tickets are $54.
Branford Marsalis has stayed the course. From his early acclaim as a saxophonist bringing new energy and new audiences to the jazz art, he has refined and expanded his talents and his horizons as a musician, composer, bandleader and educator. He has become a 21st-century mainstay of artistic excellence.
Marsalis formed the Branford Marsalis Quartet in 1986 and has since sustained the unit as his primary means of musical expression. Known for the telepathic communication among its uncommonly consistent personnel, its deep book of original music replete with expressive melodies and provocative forms, and an unrivaled spirit in both live and recorded performances, the Branford Marsalis Quartet has long been recognized as the standard to which other ensembles of its kind must be measured.
GRAMMY winner Kurt Elling is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. He won the DownBeat Critics Poll for fourteen consecutive years and was named “Male Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association on eight occasions. An international jazz award winner, Elling has also been GRAMMY-nominated a dozen times.
Elling’s rich baritone spans four octaves and features both astonishing technical mastery and emotional depth. His repertoire includes original compositions and modern interpretations of standards, all of which are springboards for inspired improvisation, scatting, spoken word, and poetry.