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Interview:
Marsalis Pays Tribute To Late Pontiac Drum Great
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK



Delfeayo Marsalis comes to town this weekend to pay tribute to one of the Detroit area’s music legends.

The 41-year-old Marsalis — the younger brother of Wynton and Branford Marsalis — will be spotlighting music from his latest album, “Minions Dominion,” a tribute to the late jazz drum great Elvin Jones that also features some of the Pontiac native’s fi nal recordings.

“I remember it was a special occasion when we came out (to Detroit) with Elvin,” says Marsalis, a New Orleans native who spent six years as a member of the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine.

“I had a lot of great experiences with (Jones). Elvin always wanted to surround himself with musicians, especially younger musicians who he considered traditionalists, guys who had lots of reverence and love for the music. We learned a lot from him, and he learned from us.”

Marsalis says one of the most signifi cant lessons he learned from Jones was to how to get the most out of other musicians.

“Elvin was intent on bring out as much of your personality and personal experiences as possible,” says Marsalis, whose rich résumé as a producer includes his brothers and his father, Ellis Marsalis, along with Harry Connick Jr., Terence Blanchard, Marcus Roberts, Nicholas Payton

and many more.

“Some people say that when you play you want to forget about that’s going on in your life and focus on music. With Elvin, it was the opposite; if you have things going on, you want to bring that out in your playing. That’s when music really has the greatest expression.

“So that’s why (‘Minions Dominion’) is so special. It covers so much of that area of music he and I both love.”



Delfeayo Marsalis performs at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday (January 12th) at the Jazz Club at the Max in the Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $25. Call (313) 576-5111 or visit www.detroit symphony.com.

Web Site: www.detroitsymphony.com

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