Delfeayo Marsalis

Decades: 1990s 2000s


28 July 1965, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. The third of four musician sons of pianist Ellis Marsalis, he began studying trombone when he was 12 years old, then went to Berklee College Of Music. His professional career as a performer was delayed because he took up record production, working on albums by his father, his brothers Wynton Marsalis and Branford Marsalis and Courtney Pine. An eclectic taste incorporates classical music and many areas of jazz. While he has expressed admiration for trombonists Tommy Dorsey and Jack Teagarden, his instrumental idol is J.J. Johnson. Marsalis’ playing experience has all been at a very high level, including spells with bands led by Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Abdullah Ibrahim and Art Blakey. As he explained to Derek Ansell in an interview for Jazz Journal International, he is eager to develop his own playing style and to expand his own career which has hitherto been overshadowed by his more famous brothers.

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