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McNally Smith to Host FREE Twin Cities Jazz Fest Clinics June 23–25, with Delfeayo Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis and John Pizzarelli

McNally Smith College of Music is honored to host a series of FREE and open-to-the-public clinics in conjunction with this week’s 18th Annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival. A trio of top jazz musicians — Delfeayo Marsalis (trombone), Ellis Marsalis (piano) and John Pizzarelli (guitar) — will conduct afternoon clinics in our Auditorium this Thursday–Saturday, June 23–25. Come join us for a rare behind the scenes look at how these world-class masters approach their craft.

Twin Cities Jazz Fest Clinics — Hosted by McNally Smith

  • Delfeayo Marsalis: Thursday, June 23 — 3:00PM
  • Ellis Marsalis: Friday, June 24 — 2:00PM
  • John Pizzarelli: Saturday, June 25 — 2:00PM

Delfeayo Marsalis (Trombone)  Thursday, June 23 — 3:00PM

A middle brother of the famed Marsalis siblings, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis spent his early career as sideman to the late Elvin Jones and behind the scenes as a prolific, Grammy-nominated producer. Over the past decade, his performance career has moved into high gear, with particular accolades for his re-orchestration of Ellington’s Sweet Thunder (2010) and his Last Southern Gentleman (2014), which paired him with his father, Ellis Marsalis, Jr. Delfeayo is also a committed educator who has written over 80 works to help introduce youngsters to jazz. With his father and brothers Wynton, Branford and Jason, he was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2011. With Jon Weber, Graydon Peterson, Francisco Mela.

Ellis Marsalis (Piano) Friday, June 24 — 2:00PM

A true jazz patriarch, pianist Ellis Marsalis is regarded by many as the premier modern jazz pianist in New Orleans. The senior Marsalis began freelancing on the Crescent City music scene in the mid-60s while teaching as an adjunct professor of African American Music at Xavier University, later serving as Chair of Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans. In 2011, Marsalis and his jazz artist sons received the first group award as NEA Jazz Masters. Ellis continues to be active as a performing pianist, leading and occasionally touring with his own quartet. With son Delfeayo, Ellis has recently toured with the Last Southern Gentleman project.

John Pizzarelli (Guitar) Saturday, June 25 — 2:00PM

A second generation guitar legend, John Pizzarelli has been hailed for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-popularizing jazz” (Boston Globe). Growing up in New Jersey, Pizzarelli was surrounded by the jazz greats who played with his father–and first professional partner — Bucky. Pizzarelli’s 20+ recordings include the Grammy-nominated collection of Richard Rogers tunes, With a Song in My Heart (2008), while his most recent release, Midnight McCartney (2015), pays homage to the post-Beatles compositions of Paul McCartney. John is also a popular radio personality, co-hosting “Radio Deluxe” alongside wife/vocalist Jessica Molaskey.