In addition to Marsalis, a saxophone player, the quartet included pianist Kenny Kirkland, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts and bassist Bob Hurst. Marsalis drew popular attention when he toured with rock musician Sting and performed in Spike Lee's movie Mo' Better Blues. But he said in a speech Friday afternoon that he was more interested in playing well than in being famous. "I never said, 'I'm going to be famous someday,' " Marsalis told an audience of 50 people in Bodek Lounge. "People say, 'I want to be a rock star.' Why don't you try being a musician?" Marsalis' devotion to musicianship showed at the concert in his extended improvisations on alto and soprano saxophones, to which the crowd responded with long rounds of applause. In the Bodek Lounge talk, Marsalis said that while he grew up listening to rock and roll, he enjoys playing jazz because he finds the music challenging. "My playing jazz is not a testimony for me . . .or a testimony to the superiority of the black man," he said. "It's the music and only the music." At the end of the concert, the crowd, which was about three-quarters students, brought the band back on stage with a standing ovation. As an encore, the quartet played the theme song from Mo' Better Blues. Marsalis said earlier in the day that although he enjoyed working with Lee, he thought the film had nothing to do with jazz. "It could have been about a postman, some war buddies, or a bunch of lawyers," the musician said. "It was all-purpose dialogue." Jazz Festival coordinator Travis Jackson said he enjoyed seeing the quartet's live performance. "They are an excellent band, and listening to their records is marvelous in and of itself, but seeing them live just intensifies the awe you have for them," the College senior said. "You get to see the interplay between the musicians." College junior Shaila Ghatalia said that she went to the concert because she had heard Marsalis' music but she did not know much about it. "I'm not very familiar with jazz music in general," she said. "I wanted to learn more about it."Comments powered by Disqus
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