born on 4/3/1977 in New Orleans, LA, United States
Jason Marsalis (born March 4, 1977) is an American jazz drummer and member of the famous New Orleans Marsalis jazz musical family. He is the youngest son of Delores Ferdinand Marsalis and Ellis Marsalis, Jr.
Life and career
Marsalis was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Dolores (née Ferdinand) and Ellis Louis Marsalis, Jr., a pianist and music professor. His brothers are Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis III (1964), Delfeayo Marsalis, and Mboya Kinyatta (1971). Branford, Wynton, and Delfeayo are also jazz musicians.
Jason has not only inherited the virtuosity and compositional skills associated with the Marsalis family, but has also developed a distinctive, polyrhythmic drumming style. Though his first professional gig was with his father at the age of twelve, he studied classical percussion at Loyola University in New Orleans, and worked as a sideman with straight-ahead combos, funk fusion bands, a Brazilian percussion ensemble (Casa Samba), and even a Celtic group. He introduced percussionist Bill Summers to trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and together they co-founded the wildly successful Los Hombres Calientes. Then, at the height of that band's popularity, Jason left to join up with acclaimed pianist Marcus Roberts.
On August 25, 2009, Marsalis released his first album as a leader on vibrophone, entitled Music Update. The album, which earned 4.5 out of 5 stars in Downbeat Magazine, showcases Jason on vibes with his working quartet, as well as several overdubbed drum ensembles entitled the "Disciplines". Ben Ratliff from The New York Times described the Jason's album as "an excellent musician trying out something risky without embarrassment."
Jason also continues to work as a sideman with Marcus Roberts, Ellis and Delfeayo Marsalis, John Ellis, Michael White, and Shannon Powell among others.
Marsalis, with his father and brothers, are group recipients of the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Award. He is also featured in the non-fiction film on New Orleans Jazz Culture, Tradition is a Temple.
- The Marsalis Family - Music Redeems (Marsalis Music)
- Jason Marsalis - Music Update (ELM Records)
- Jason Marsalis - The Year Of The Drummer (Basin Street Records)
- Jason Marsalis - Music In Motion (Basin Street Records)
- Roland Guerin - You Don't Have To See It To Believe It (Half Note Records)
- John Ellis - Roots, Branches & Leaves (Fresh Sound New Talent)
- The Marsalis Family - A Jazz Celebration (Marsalis Music/Rounder)
- The Ellis Marsalis Trio - Twelve's It (Columbia Records)
- David Morgan Trio - Live At The Blue Note (Half Note Records)
- Los Hombres Calientes - Los Hombres Calientes (Basin Street Records)
- Los Hombres Calientes - Vol. 2 (Basin Street Records)
- Marcus Roberts Trio - In Honor Of Duke (Columbia Records)
- Stated on Finding Your Roots, PBS, March 25, 2012
- Ratliff, Ben, Offbeat, Nabokovian and West Coast Hip, The New York Times, July 22, 2009.
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jason Marsalis
- Bio from Basin Street Records
- Interview from Jazzweekly.com