Remember Gummo Marx? The stage-shy businessman was rarely recognized as a sibling of the anarchic Marx Brothers, and in some ways, that paradigm holds equally true for Delfeayo Marsalis.
Eclipsed by his more famous brothers — staunchly traditional trumpeter Wynton and garrulous saxophonist Branford — the gifted trombonist has released only a quartet of albums under his own name during the past 20 years (his last album was 2011’s Sweet Thunder: Duke and Shak, a modernization of the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayorn suite, Such Sweet Thunder). Delfeayo has guested sporadically on other artists’ work, perhaps most famously (to Rock fans) on the Clutch song “Cracker Jack,” while much of his career has been spent touring with legendary bandleaders like Max Roach, Art Blakey and the incomparable Elvin Jones.
The fourth of the five Marsalis brothers, Delfeayo has worked largely behind the scenes as a renowned producer of acoustic Jazz recordings (he majored in both performance and audio production at the Berklee College of Music), spearheading a movement to redirect Jazz production away from Rock techniques.
He’s produced well over 100 recordings for some of music’s biggest names, including Harry Connick Jr., Marcus Roberts, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, his brothers and father Ellis Marsalis. Inspired by his autistic youngest brother Mboya, Delfeayo founded the Uptown Music Theatre in 2000.
Although not as prominent in the media as his spotlighted brothers, Delfeayo has been consistently lauded by the Jazz press as one of this generation’s most creative and ambitious musicians, and the rare opportunity to see him on his own has Jazz fans vibrating with anticipation.
DELFEAYO MARSALIS SEXTET featuring Victor Goines perform Monday and Tuesday, June 25-26 at Blue Wisp Jazz Club downtown. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.