Branford Marsalis was on a short visit to London to help promote the PBS show Finding Your Roots in an episode which also features Harry Connick Jr..
In our short interview (above) Branford talked about that documentary - the musical culture and songs of New Orleans - improving as a musician by reading (especially non-fiction) - about extra-musical events whch allows the musician to form a convincing narrative - the "new" versus the "good" , i.e. can there be such a thing as innovation with just twelve semitones - a comparison of Coltrane's Impressions and Morton Gould's Pavane from his American Symphonette No.2.
The episode of Finding Your Roots in which Branford and Harry have their family trees unearthed - extract below - is the fourth episode in the series. It will premiere on Sunday 17 March at 8pm. It was screened privately at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square last night, and Branford gave a lively and engaging Q & A.
FINDING YOUR ROOTS starts this Sunday Feb 24th at 8pm on PBS America - the new channel from America's Public Broadcasting Service on Sky channel 166 and Virgin Media 243.
Branford Marsalis' Quartet will be appearing on the closing night of the Love Supreme Festival at Glynde in Sussex on July 7th