Monday, March 4, 2013

University of New Orleans Jazz Studies Program Hosts Master Class with Jason Marsalis

The University of New Orleans jazz studies program was founded as a living laboratory where students can learn through performance and study with professors who are also working jazz musicians.

Introducing UNO music students to the history and study of jazz through the eyes of jazz professionals is a core underpinning of the elite program founded in 1971 by Professor Emeritus Ellis Marsalis. His father's son, renowned drummer and vibraphonist Jason Marsalis will host a master class for UNO students at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5 in Room 103 of the University's Performing Arts Center. The clinic is free and open to the public.

"Music is always in motion," according to Marsalis, who recently released Music in Motion, his second record as a leader/composer. The 23-year-old drummer performs on the recording with John Ellis, who plays tenor saxophone; UNO alumnus Derek Douget, who plays alto and soprano saxophono; UNO alumnus and jazz pianist Jonathan Lefcoski and Peter Harris, who plays bass.

The record, Marsalis said on his website, incorporates "unusual rhythms into the jazz idiom," and addresses two types of second-line music – "the traditional style composed and performed by Paul Barbarin, Jelly Roll Morton, Baby Dodds, and Louis Armstrong, and the funk based second-line of the Mardi Gras Indians, the Wild Magnolias, the Meters, and so forth."

Marsalis, who is part of a long tradition of legendary jazz drummers in New Orleans, co-founded Los Hombres Calientes, a cross-cultural group which fuses Latin, Afro-Cuban, African and other styles with modern jazz and has released two recordings through Basin Street Records.

His debut recording with his own band, The Year of the Drummer was released in 1998 by Basin Street Records.

"I want to bring a lot of new ideas into jazz, and expand on the tradition," Marsalis said. "If jazz is to keep moving forward, all of the musical styles in jazz history have to be advanced while including musical styles outside the jazz realm. Now that's Music in Motion."

For more information contact the University of New Orleans Department of Music >>
For more information on Jason Marsalis, visit his website >>