Delfeayo Marsalis was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on July 28, 1965. He began studying trombone at age 13, and attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts high school. He was classicically trained at the Eastern Music Festival and Tanglewood Institute. In 1983, Mr. Marsalis performed Gordon Jacob's Trombone Concerto with the New Orleans Philharmonic and received the Outstanding Performance Award from the Jefferson Performing Arts Society for his presentation of Marcello's Sonata #6.
After producing his first recording at age 17, Mr. Marsalis attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music, majoring in both performance and audio production. He has since produced over 75 major-label recordings-several of which have received Grammy awards and nominations-including works by: Harry Connick, jr., Marcus Roberts, Spike Lee, Ellis, Branford and Wynton Marsalis. His production skills earned a 3M Visionary Award in 1996 and a cover article for the industry source, Mix magazine in 1997.
As a trombonist, Mr. Marsalis has toured internationally with legendary jazz artists Art Blakey, Abdullah Ibrahim, Elvin Jones, Slide Hampton and Max Roach, as well as touring with his own modern jazz ensemble. During a tour with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, he was filmed as part of the Ken Burns documentary, " Jazz." A mainstay on the New Orleans modern jazz scene, he has released three solo albums to critical acclaim, Pontius Pilate's Decision in 1992, Musashi in 1997, and Minions Dominion in September 2006. Along with late trombone master J.J. Johnson, several music reviewers have labeled Mr. Marsalis as one of the freshest modern voices on the instrument to arrive in the 90's.
His scores of music have set the backdrop for the ABC mini-series, Moon over Miami, the documentaries Streetcar Mysteries, 112th & Central, an off-Broadway production Girl Gone, and the New Orleans Ballet presentations of Tennessee Williams' Streetcar Named Desire and Glass Menagerie.
Mr. Marsalis has been involved with educating youth in various developmental programs for several years. In 1993, his original D-Blues was commissioned by "Meet the Composer" for the Filmore Arts Center in Washington DC and in 1995 Mr. Marsalis lectured in public and parochial schools on behalf of both the Dallas Opera and the Bravo cable network. To further introduce young people to jazz music, he has served as director of the Foundation for Artistic and Musical Excellence summer program in Lawrenceville, NJ since 1998. After composing the musical, Luther, for Summerstages Theatre in 1997, Mr. Marsalis founded the Uptown Music Theatre, created specifically to provide 8-12th grade youth with musical theatre training. In three summers, UMT has prepared over eighty-five students-ages 8-18-and staged five original musicals, Kidstown, The Pirate's Conspirate, Jaz and Jazmine Meet the Jazz Band, A New Tale of the Old West and Carol, Carol, Caroling, the central theme in all being, "community unity." Under the direction of Mr. Marsalis, UMT children perform throughout the community year-round, including the seasonal, " Carol, Carol, Caroling…" which is presented at local nursing homes, shelters, and Children's Hospital.
Mr. Marsalis obtained an MA in jazz performance at the University of Louisville in 2005. He is currently working on concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra for the 2007-08 season. The first concert on June 28, 2007 will feature octet arrangements of the Ellington classic Such Sweet Thunder, a suite based upon the literary brilliance of William Shakespeare.