Recording Date: Jun 15, 2009
Recorded at the Kennedy Center on June 15, 2009, Music Redeems features the Marsalis Family performing live at a charity concert to benefit the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music - part of the New Orleans Habitat Musicians' Village. Although conceived by Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. prior to Hurricane Katrina, the Musicians' Village took on even more importance after the catastrophe as more musicians and their families were either displaced into inadequate housing or left homeless than ever before. Designed to raise funds and awareness for the Center, the concert also worked as a tribute to patriarch, longtime pianist, and educator Ellis Marsalis. In a similar spirit to 2003's The Marsalis Family: A Jazz Celebration - which featured the family performing live in 2001 to mark Ellis' retirement from teaching at New Orleans University - here we once again see the family gather on-stage to pay homage to the elder Marsalis and what his legacy means for New Orleans. As well as Ellis himself, featured here are all of the Marsalises, including trumpeter Wynton, saxophonist Branford, trombonist Delfeayo, drummer Jason, and even poet Ellis III, as well as pianist Connick, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Herlin Riley. The result is a joyous and heartfelt evening of music that mixes propulsive post-bop, swing, traditional New Orleans second line, and spoken word, and is a must-hear for fans of any of the individual members of the Marsalis Family.
All Music Guide
One of the most famous of New Orleans' multigenerational jazz families, it is extraordinarily rare for the Marsalis clan to assemble all together in one place. However, approaching Father's Day of last year, the family gathered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to honor its patriarch and the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Ellis Marsalis. With sons Branford on saxophones, Wynton on trumpet, Delfeayo on trombone, Jason on drums, poet Ellis III reciting a piece written especially for his father for the occasion, and special guests Dr. Billy Taylor and family friend Harry Connick, Jr., Ellis inspired an evening of lively performances of repertoire with special meaning to the Marsalis Family, punctuated by family stories and anecdotes about growing up in New Orleans.
All proceeds from the project will go straight to programming support for the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, an education center and heart of the New Orleans Musicians' Village community, conceived in 2005 by Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr. in partnership with New Orleans Habitat for Humanity following Hurricane Katrina.