Branford Marsalis will divide his time between jazz and classical music while in Baton Rouge
Branford Marsalis has faced the question a few times along his career: which music is harder to play, jazz or classical?
You'd think the answer would be jazz, where notes aren't always written but improvised. Not so.
"Classical is harder," the saxophonist says. "Jazz is like a story that you personalize, but classical is a story where you can't use your own words. It's like reading Shakespeare or Chaucer. You have to develop the characters to make them believable, but the words aren't yours, and you're not going to change Shakespeare. You can't. In classical music, you don't play your own notes, you play theirs."
Marsalis has made his career in jazz, but he doesn't balk at a opportunities to play classical. He will perform both next week when he joins the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra's "New World Concert" at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the River Center Theatre, then the LSU Jazz Faculty at 3 p.m. Sunday at the LSU Union Theater.
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