October 30th, 2009


Jason Marsalis applies his mallets to his vibes at Tula’s at his Earshot Jazz Festival performance Thursday.

Jason Marsalis,  an immensely talented and musical percussionist, and the youngest of the Marsalis clan, Tonight, performed songs from his current recording Music Update, which represents his debut recording on vibes after nearly two decades of working and recording as a drummer. His performance was enchanting and in between songs he spoke with a lot of admiration for past greats on the vibes like John Lewis. I loved watching him play the vibraphones and seeing how his mallets seem to bend with the force of his playing. See the photo at the bottom of this post. He will be there again tonight Friday Oct 30th. There may still be tickets available. Check with Earshot Jazz Festival tickets online


Marsalis was backed by formidable trio of young musicians he met at a residency at Florida State University: Austin Johnson, piano; Will Goble, bass; and David Potter, drums. Marsalis first started performing on the vibes eight years ago, and since then he has skillfully developed a group concept. His recording, and no doubt the evening’s program, featured original compositions like “Offbeat Personality” and “Ballet Class,” which owe a distinct debt to the Modern Jazz Quartet. Marsalis also pays tribute to the original master of jazz vibes, Lionel Hampton, with covers of “Midnight Sun” and Charlie Christian’s “Seven Come Eleven.” The performances Thursday and Friday mark his Seattle debut as headliner.

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