Branford Marsalis performs with Youth Orchestra of San Antonio, discusses classical training

Posted on: February 25, 2016

In last Thursday’s (2/18) San Antonio Current (Texas), J.D. Swerzenski writes about a Feb. 22 concert that featured jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis joining “the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio for a performance of Glazunov’s Alto Saxophone Concerto and Schulhoff and Bennett’s Jazz Concerto.… In the lead-up to the show, the Current spoke with the ever-outspoken saxophonist on classical music.” Said Marsalis, “There’s a lot of freedom in classical music. If you brought five versions of the same piece, they would sound totally different depending on the region, the conductor, the orchestra, all these different things.… Classical music makes me a much better saxophonist than jazz does. Because for saxophone technique, guys end up playing fast stuff. In classical music, you just have to develop a technique to execute melodies and ideas that are beyond the linear ways that we tend to think about music.… I’m not really a linear thinker, although my dad [pianist Ellis Marsalis] is. A lot of classical composers are melodic thinkers, not linear thinkers. Some of these melodies can be quite difficult, and you’ve got to learn to play them under duress…. You’ve got to play them in the moment.”

Posted February 25, 2016