ARLINGTON - Jason Marsalis was born into what has been called “the first family of jazz.” But at The University of Texas at Arlington, the drummer has another claim to fame. He went to high school in New Orleans with Adonis Rose, founder of the Fort Worth Jazz Orchestra (FWJO) and jazz artist-in-residence in UT Arlington’s noteworthy jazz studies program.
The two former classmates will reunite for a FWJO concert at 8 p.m. Friday, May 16, in Texas Hall, 701 W. Nedderman Drive. Tickets are $20 and can be bought at the door or by calling (817) 374-5508.
Jason Marsalis is the son of Ellis Marsalis, a renowned pianist and jazz educator, who is patriarch of a musical dynasty that includes three other sons: eldest Branford Marsalis, a saxophonist; visionary trumpeter and Pulitzer Prize-winner Wynton Marsalis and Delfeayo Marsalis, a well-known trombonist. Youngest brother Jason began playing toy drums when he was 3 years old, moved to violin, and returned permanently to drums at age 12. In 1991, when he was 14, he made his first appearance on the “Heart of Gold” compact disc with his father.
His first CD, “The Year of the Drummer,” was released in 1998 and received many accolades. The same year, he became a founding member of multi-award-winning Los Hombres Calientes. Marsalis left the group in 2001 to pursue his affiliation with pianist Marcus Roberts and to form his own quintet with John Ellis, tenor saxophone; Derek Douget, alto and soprano saxophones; Jonathan Lefcoski, piano; and Peter Harris on bass. His CD “Music in Motion,” which he produced in 2000, features all his own original material.
Adonis Rose relocated from New Orleans to Arlington following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and founded the Fort Worth Jazz Orchestra in 2005. A renowned jazz drummer, he grew up in New Orleans and has played with some of the world’s most esteemed jazz artists, from nine-time Grammy-winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis to three-time Grammy-winning entertainer Harry Connick Jr. He created and played the drum arrangement for Spike Lee’s HBO documentary, “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.
Rose, who started touring at age 17, attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Aaron Neville and Dr. John, among others. Before Hurricane Katrina struck, he was touring with Harry Connick Jr., Ellis Marsalis and others. He recorded his two current CDs, “On the Verge” and “Adonis Rose and the N.O. Vaders,” during that time. He has four solo recordings and has performed on more than 50 recordings overall. He has recorded with saxophonist Donald Harrison, pianist Peter Martin, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, vocalist Phillip Manuel and trumpeter/keyboardist Irvin Mayfield.
Rose, who joined the UT Arlington faculty last fall, had previously taught at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.
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