Frank Stasio's Fondest Shows: Brazil And Branford And Beyond

Dec 10, 2020

Founder of the genre-blending group Buckshot LeFonque, Marsalis' most recent project draws on ways the African diaspora manifests in the music of the Americas.
Credit Dropota Koperska Photography

Saxophone master and Durham resident Branford Marsalis has never shied away from a challenge when it comes to tackling music. In 2008, the jazz legend incorporated his sax into the classical music traditions of South America in a show called "Marsalis Brasilianos: Villa Lobos, Milhaud and the New Worlds of Brazilian Modernism."

The series of musical works paid homage to Heitor Villa-Lobos, perhaps the most famous classical composer to hail from Brazil.  Marsalis joined host Frank Stasio to talk about the legacy of Villa-Lobos and what it took to reinvent classical works for a contemporary audience and adapt them for the saxophone. Frank interviewed Marsalis many times on The State of Things, but he chose this 2008 interview because "in this conversation, Branford Marsalis, once again demonstrates his versatility and his creative understanding of cultural influence."

View the complete list of Frank’s fondest shows airing December 2020.