Branford Marsalis

COLORADO SPRINGS—The Branford Marsalis Quartet, with its deep book of original music and an unrivaled spirit in both live and recorded performances, has long been recognized as the standard to which other ensembles of its kind must be measured. On April 17, they will grace the stage of the Shockley-Zalabak for the first jazz performance in the Ent Center.

Growing up in the rich environment of New Orleans as the oldest son of a pianist, Branford was drawn to jazz at a young age, alongside his musically inclined brothers. His first instrument, the clarinet, gave way to the alto and then the tenor and soprano saxophones when he began playing with local bands as a teenager. In 1986, Branford formed his own quartet that, other than a few minor interruptions in the early years, has persisted as his primary means of 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.

Designated a “Jazz Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts, Branford also includes classical, show tunes and rock and roll in his musical sphere. In fact, he has collaborated with the Grateful Dead and spent a period touring with Sting.

Tickets start at $27.50 and are available at uccspresents.org or through the UCCS Presents box office at (719) 255-3232. The performance will take place in the Shockley-Zalabak Theater at the Ent Center for the Arts.