Family & Companions
Charismatic, handsome, leading jazz musician. Marsalis grew up a member of the "Royal Family" of jazz in New Orleans. His father, Ellis, was one of America's leading piano instructors (among his students was jazz/pop wunderkind Harry Connick, Jr.). Marsalis garnered mass attention as one of Sting's band members in the documentary "Bring on the Night" and in three subsequent world tours. Aside from his musical work, Marsalis has appeared in several films, including Spike Lee's "School Days" (1988) and "Mo' Better Blues" (1990), for which he also provided music. From 1992 to 1994, Marsalis was the bandleader for Jay Leno's version of "The Tonight Show" where he introduced jazz to a mass audience with the help of his hand-picked band which includes such jazz luminaries as Kenny Kirkland, Jeff "Tain" Watts and Kevin Eubanks, who succeeded him as bandleader.
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Special Thanks (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Music (TV Mini-Series)
While still a student, toured Europe playing alto and baritone saxophone in a large ensemble led by drummer Art Blakey
Joined his brother Wynton in Blakey's Jazz Messengers and on a Japanese tour with Herbie Hancock
Released first recording, <i>Scenes in the City</i>
Made his film debut in the documentary "Bring on the Night"
Feature acting debut, "Throw Momma From the Train"
Cast as Jordam in Spike Lee's musical-drama "School Daze"
Composed the soundtrack for "Mo' Better Blues"
Received a Grammy for the recording "I Heard You Twice The First Time" where he teamed with B.B.King, John Lee Hooker and Rip Tip Johnson
Acted in the Showtime 30-Minute Movie, "Without a Pass"
Made leader of the Tonight Show Band, on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (NBC)
Served as Creative Consultant and producer for jazz recordings with Columbia Records
Toured with The Branford Marsalis Quartet and earned a Grammy for its album <i>Contemporary Jazz</i>
Founded his own Marsalis Music label
Teamed with Harry Connick, Jr to create the concept of a Musicians' Village in New Orleans' Upper Ninth Ward, with the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music as the Village's centerpiece
Composed the music for the Broadway revival of August Wilson's "Fences"; earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Original Score