Perhaps one of the most well known families in jazz today is the Marsalis family. Branford, Wynton, Jason, Delfeayo, and Ellis Marsalis III are the sons of Ellis Marsalis Jr. Ellis Jr., an accomplished jazz pianist and music professor himself, passed on the candle to his four sons. All four sons have successful careers all their own, independent of each other. However, the four brothers have played together on occasion and continue to carry on their father’s legacy. Wynton, a trumpeter, has become a leading figure in jazz academia and performance. He is currently the Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and a very accomplished performer. Branford is most noted for his work as a jazz saxophonist and for starting the record label aptly named Marsalis Music. Delfeayo has a successful career as a jazz trombonist while Jason, the youngest of the four, is an accomplished drummer. The four brothers do not usually tour together but have at times collaborated on selected projects. Most recently they recorded Music Redeems, a live engagement at the
Stepping back a few more years, the Adderley brothers appear on the scene. Julian “Cannonball” Adderley and his brother Nathaniel became figures in the jazz scene as early as 1955. As the previously discussed brother groups have also done, Cannonball and Nat led separate careers as well as careers together. Cannonball started his first quintet in the early 1950s with his brother. However, it was not until after Cannonball’s stint with Miles Davis that Cannonball gained the acclaim that allowed his second attempt at a quintet with his brother to flourish. Cannonball Adderley died at the young age of 47 of a stroke. After his brother’s death in 1975, Nat continued his career performing and recording with many notable figures in jazz. Like his brother, Nat also suffered from a long battle with diabetes. On January 2, 2000, he passed due to complications from the disease.