The name Marsalis became known to jazz enthusiasts in 1980, when trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, b. New Orleans, LA., Oct. 18, 1961, joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, and his dazzling technique and genius at improvisation were first heard. The son of jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis, Wynton studied classical music at New York's Juilliard School. In 1982, he formed his own band with older brother Branford, b. New Orleans, Aug. 26, 1960, a brilliant tenor saxophonist. Wynton's recordings of 18th century trumpet concertos and his jazz album Think of One (1982) both won Grammy awards in 1984. Branford is as fine a jazz artist and classical instrumentalist as Wynton, but he is also an accomplished rock musician--he plays with rock star Sting, among others--and a budding movie actor (Throw Momma From the Train, 1987; School Daze, 1988)


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