NOW, A JAZZ MOMENT...
MUSIC: Jungle Blues
Branford Marsalis: I think a lot of what determined what we did professionally was the fact that we grew up in a town where being a musician is actually associated with masculinity ? not femininity.
NEA JAZZ MASTER BRANFORD MARSALIS HAILS FROM THE GREAT MUSICAL CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, WHERE MUSIC IS WOVEN INTO THE FABRIC OF EVERYDAY LIFE ? IN PARADES, AT PARTIES, AT FUNERALS ? YOU NAME IT. AND IT'S A GUMBO OF STYLES DOWN THERE ? JAZZ, BLUES, FUNK, ZYDECO, TRADITIONAL (OR "TRAD"), AND CLASSICAL MUSIC. AS BRANFORD NOTES, MUSICIANS HOLD COURT IN THAT CITY LIKE NO OTHER PLACE IN AMERICA...
Branford Marsalis: You can watch the movies, watch popular culture, the movies where the football players run over the band members. And you spend time in New Orleans...it's not like that. It's not like that at all. Thugs play music in New Orleans, you know what I mean? Dudes leave jail and go back on the bandstand. So it has a whole different thing. So playing in the orchestra, nobody said, "Oh, that's some sissy music." They'd say, "Yeah, man, you playin' that classical music too, huh, bro?" "Yeah, you right man." But it was just great to live in a city where none of your friends would tease you for playin' in an orchestra.
MUSIC: up for punctuation, then fades under and out
THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH SAXOPHONIST BRANFORD MARSALIS WAS CREATED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS. I'M CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE.
Branford Marsalis on the music scene in New Orleans