Tromboning will save your life someday

A visit from a legend


Nick Franzini

Delfeayo provides a harmless grin as he takes a pic with a huge fan. Marsalis had been selling and signing his new CD out in the lobby after the show, and offering conversation and pictures for any students who want them. “I better keep an eye out for you man,” said Marsalis as he fared well to this student and the state as a whole.

Joseph Schunemann, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Blow Sweet Thunder, my sweet prince, and take me down your dream train to paradise. These were the thoughts running through the minds of almost all in the audience as a mere hundred or so were serenaded into a sweet reverie by the excellent tromboning of Mr. Delfeayo Marsalis on Tuesday October 17. For the low price of $15, members of the the Hollis Brookline community were given the privilege of experiencing bliss as this world-renowned trombone player of the Marsalis jazz family visited Hollis Brookline to perform a concert for the first time in HB history.

However, this isn’t the first time Marsalis has been within the walls of Hollis Brookline; he has often been invited to come teach clinics for the honors jazz band by his old friend and co-collegiate musician Dave Umstead, HB band and music teacher. “I was in grad school and he was touring with Elvin Jones and the secret got out that he was actually looking to go to school at the University of Louisville the next year and I first was like ‘oh come on he’s not coming here,’” said Umstead. “Then the next year came around, and so did Delfeayo.”

Umstead and Marsalis played together in the top Louisville big bands and even got to the point where Marsalis agreed to perform in Umstead’s graduate recital. To that extent, Marsalis certainly paid homage to this friendship in one of the most memorable points in the concert, when he invited Umstead on stage to play on a couple of tunes, something quoted as the favorite moment of his fellow music teacher, Matthew Barbosa.

HB choir and theater teacher Matthew Barbosa was excited about the show himself citing it as “The best musical experience” offered here on the HB stage, comparing it to the band trip to play with the US Marine Band and the choir trip to perform under the baton of composer Morten Lauridsen. Although Barbosa personally had high expectations for the show, the performance blew them away. He said that his encore performance of It’s a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong had the kind of tone that could swaddle up a baby in that kinda way that they’d never wanna be let go.

Despite loving the concert Barbosa could be upset more of his students didn’t show up, he said he just felt bad they missed something like this, “opportunities like this don’t come around every day,” he said, encouraging his students to take the chance when they had it.

Jack Sinclair ‘19 decided to grab this opportunity by the horns and couldn’t be happier. “Opening for someone like Delfeayo Marsalis was a big enough honor before the show, but after hearing him play like that? That stage may as well never be used again.”