Delfeayo Marsalis was born July 28, 1965 in New Orleans, Louisiana into the musical family in which father and three brothers are musicians. Lying under the piano as a child while his father played, he eventually tried the bass and the drums but by the sixth grade gravitated to the trombone. His early influences were J.J. Johnson, Curtis Fuller, Al Grey, Tyree Glenn and Tommy Dorsey.
He went on to attend the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts high school and was classically trained at the Eastern Music Festival and Tanglewood Institute. He graduated from Berklee School of Music and the University of Louisville with degrees in performance and audio production.
While a gifted trombonist, Delfeayo has recorded only five albums as a leader and is more prolific and better known for his work as a producer of over 100 acoustic jazz recordings. Since the age of 17 he has produced such artists as Harry Connick Jr., Marcus Roberts, Spike Lee, Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Marcus Roberts, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and his family members – Ellis, Branford and Wynton.
Along with Tonight Show engineer Patrick Smith, he coined “to obtain more wood sound from the bass recorded without usage of the dreaded bass direct”, a phrase that became the single sentence to define the recorded quality of many acoustic jazz recordings since the late ’80s.
Forming Uptown Music Theatre in 2000, the organization has trained over 300 youth and staged 8 original musicals, all of which are based upon the mission of “community unity.” Marsalis has toured with internationally renowned bandleaders Art Blakey, Slide Hampton, Max Roach, Elvin Jones and Abdullah Ibrahim. In addition he has performed and toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, was a part of the Ken Burns documentary Jazz and is an integral part of Marsalis Family: A Jazz Celebration DVD.
Delfeayo Marsalis, along with his father and brothers, are group recipients of the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Award. He continues to perform, record, tour and produce.
Anton Schwartz was born July 16, 1967 in New York City. He attended the Dalton School, studied jazz privately with Warne Marsh and Eddie Daniels, and went on to pursue a degree in advanced mathematics from New York and Columbia Universities, and computer science at Stanford University where he pursued research in artificial intelligence. He soon left academia to become a full-time musician.
The saxophonist and composer has released five CDs as a leader on his Antonjazz label that has garnered notoriety amongst jazz enthusiasts. His 2006 release, Radiant Blue, landed in the Top Five on the U.S. jazz radio charts and featured sidemen Peter Bernstein and Taylor Eigsti. His most recent release “Flash Mob” has trumpeter Dominick Farinacci and pianist Taylor Eigsti joining him.
Anton performs periodically at Yoshi’s, has been a guest on NPR’s JazzSet and has been a soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra. He returned to academia and has held artist-in-residence at Harvard University and The Brubeck Institute. He is currently a faculty member of the Jazzschool at the California Jazz Conservancy in Berkeley, California and The Stanford jazz Workshop.
Kendrick Scott was born July 8, 1980 in Houston. His initial encounter with the drums was in church, where his family was involved in the music ministry. Attending Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, garnering several awards, most notably the IAJE Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship.
Upon graduation from high school in 1998, Kendrick matriculated through Berklee College of Music under scholarship. Since graduating in 2002,Scott has performed with the Jazz Crusaders, Pat Metheny, Joe Lovano, Kenny Garrett, Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright and Terence Blanchard among others. He also was a member of the Berklee-Monterey Quartet from 1999 to 2007.
Scott’s debut recording with his group Oracle recorded The Source in 2006, including pianists Aaron Parks and Robert Glasper, guitarist Lionel Loueke, vocalist Gretchen Parlato and others. He also performed with the Terence Blanchard Quintet on the twice Grammy nominated album A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina) in 2007, celebrated the Monterey Jazz Festival’s 50th anniversary and embarked on a 22-state tour with the 50th Anniversary MJF All-Star Band features the leaders of the past, present and future with Blanchard, James Moody, Benny Green, Derrick Hodge and Nnenna Freelon. In 2010 he released his sophomore leader project “Reverence” and in 2013 “Conviction”. He continues to perform, record and tour.
Moon River is another jazz standard originally composed for Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Henry Mancini for music with lyrics written by Johnny Mercer. Blake Edwards directed this 1961 American romantic comedy that starred Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard with support from Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam and Mickey Rooney. The film is loosely based on Truman Capote’s novella of the same name.
Hepburn’s portrayal of Holly Golightly as the naïve, eccentric café society girl is generally considered to be the actress’ most memorable and identifiable role. However, Hepburn regarded it as one of her most challenging roles, since she was an introvert required to play an extrovert.
The song received an academy Award for Best Original Song for its first performance by Hepburn, won Mancini the 1962 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Mercer a Grammy Award for Song of the Year.
Days of Wine and Roses is a popular song and jazz standard from the 1962 movie of the same name. Henry Mancini composed the music with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. They received the Academy Award for Best Original Song for their work. The song is composed of only two sentences, one for each stanza. Though the best-known recording of the song was by Andy Williams in 1963, several others have recorded the song, including the composer Henry Mancini, Perry Como, Wes Montgomery (1963: Boss Guitar), Lenny Breau, and Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald on their Pablo Records album Easy Living.