For all his vast and venerable sonic contributions to Jazz (with an uppercase J), Ellis Marsalis should also be remarked upon for a profundity of teaching. During decades of leading the 88s down new paths, headily negotiating their curves, Marsalis has found time to spawn (literally and figuratively) whole generations of achieving jazzers (Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick Jr., and, of course, the four Marsalis sons are among the his many successful students). In that role, he shows more than tells (he calls himself a coach of music, rather than a teacher), and his demonstrative expertise doesnt hurt his performance artistry.
As a New Orleanian, Marsalis never went for Dixieland instead (like the eponymous hero of his new album, An Open Letter to Thelonious Monk) he chose being and bopping, and defying the more known music of his home with his own spirited modern vision. Learn a thing or two at 8 p.m. at Coral Gables Congregational Church. Tickets cost $25 and $35 in advance.
Thu., Aug. 14, 8 p.m., 2008