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Marsalis Jams

Instead of just recording jazz acts and getting their CDs on store shelves-which is fine, we like that very much-Branford Marsalis is using his new label, Marsalis Music, as a way to produce jazz education programs and events in an effort to nurture the art form. Branford calls the schooling side of the label Marsalis Jams.

The first Marsalis Jams event is a concert/jam session led by Afro-Caribbean jazz saxophone star David Sánchez (pictured) at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., to be held tomorrow at Sweeney Concert Hall on Green Street in Northampton at 8 p.m. (and which is free to members of participating campuses, call Smith’s Steve Waksman at 413-585-3161). Sánchez and his sextet will perform together in the opening set and will be joined by student musicians for a jam in the second set. Those students will have prepared for the improv session at a workshop conducted by Sánchez and his band earlier in the day. On Thursday, the Sánchez and his band will participate in a panel presentation on in the Earle Recital Hall in Sage Hall on the Smith campus.

“We envision Marsalis Jams as providing a new experience in jazz education for campuses throughout the country, and are tremendously excited to have Smith College as the sponsor of our inaugural event,” said Bob Blumenthal, now on Marsalis Music’s staff. “Members of the Smith community have been extremely supportive in helping us bring our concept to reality, and David Sánchez’s sextet is an ideal ensemble for inspiring young musicians and listeners.”

The next Marsalis Jams event will be a concert/jam with pianist James Williams’ Intensive Care Unit at the University of New Hampshire on March 14. For more info, visit,

Originally Published