Two members of America’s first family of jazz have reached a new pinnacle with the release of “The Last Southern Gentlemen.” The album is the first time trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis has made a complete recording with his father, 80-year-old pianist Ellis Marsalis.
The pair, currently on tour promoting their album, will be in Toledo April 21 for an 8 p.m. performance at the Toledo Museum of Art. Delfeayo (pronounced Dell-FEE-Oh) and Ellis ruminate in relaxed, probing and swinging fashion, offering eleven standards and two original compositions on the album. The same extraordinary style can be expected when they appear in Toledo for an evening of top-notch musical entertainment at the Museum.
An active musician since the late 1940s, Ellis is one of the most highly respected pianists in jazz. He has recorded nearly two dozen of his own albums, been featured on many others and influenced the careers of countless musicians, including Terence Blanchard and Harry Connick Jr., as well as his four sons.
Born into a musical family in the birthplace of jazz, Delfeayo was destined to a life in music. “I remember lying under the grand piano as a child, while my dad (Ellis) practiced. His sound is so warm and comforting that I realized I wanted to play with as much love and passion when I was older,” the trombonist once recalled.
In 2011 Delfeayo and the Marsalis family (father Ellis and brothers Branford, Wynton and Jason) earned the nation’s highest jazz honor, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award. Delfeayo also has received a Big Easy and Best of the Beat Award for outstanding trombonist in his hometown of New Orleans.
Tickets for their live performance in Toledo, presented by the Art Tatum Jazz Society in collaboration with the Museum, are available starting at 10 a.m. Friday, April 10, through etix or by calling 419-381-8851. Tickets are priced at $75, $55 and $25 each.
Parking at the Museum is free for members and $5 for nonmembers.