poster for Rodney Marsalis Phildelphia Big Brass


The UAlbany Performing Arts Center, operating under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences, is pleased to present Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass in Brothers on the Battlefieldon Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 7:30pm

A multi-media production with a historically informed narrative, Brothers on the Battlefield salutes the 150th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement. Eight virtuoso musicians perform music of that era with narrator JaQuinley Kerr who brings to life the personal letters of those engulfed in the conflict and the inspirational words of Dr. Maya Angelou. Stunning images created by Vanessa Briceño create a breathtaking backdrop to some of our nation’s most celebrated songs.

An internationally acclaimed brass ensemble, Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass had its beginnings on the streets of New Orleans. On the advice of Ellis Marsalis, the group created a concert format that breaks the usual barriers between genres and strives to create connection between the audience and performers. The group burst onto the music scene with a debut performance in Philadelphia's Kimmel Center in Verizon Hall. Since then, they have been invited to perform in major music halls around the world including China's National Center for the Performing Arts, Tangelwood's Seiji Ozawa Hall and prominent halls in Brazil and Italy.

"No one plays absolutely beautifully all the time ... unless you're my cousin Rodney," claims Wynton Marsalis.

Rodney Marsalis was born in New Orleans where he began his musical studies at the age of six. When he was eleven, he began taking classical trumpet lessons with Wynton. Referred to as a "trumpet prodigy" his solo debut was at the age of fifteen with the New Orleans Symphony. After having won various solo competitions, he received national attention at the age of nineteen performing as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Since then, he has performed as a soloist with both national and international orchestras.  In the course of his more than twenty years as an orchestral musician, he has been the winner of several national and international competitions for titled orchestral chairs including positions with the New Orleans Symphony, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica de Tenerife, Barcelona Symphony and Richmond Symphony.

Narrator JaQuinley Kerr is an actress and director known for Ryan (2016), Trinity (2008) and The Message (video short). She is the author of How the Light Gets In which juxtaposes some of her poems and photographs.

Visual artist Vanessa Briceño was born in Caracas, Venezuela and currently works as professional photographer, graphic designer and media manager for musicians and artists as well as an independent television writer/producer.  Briceño has also been involved in multi-media collaborations such as "Clepsydra: An Operatic Installation with 13 Performers."

The performance of Brothers on the Battlefield is part of the 400 Years of Inequality observance that is taking place this fall at the University at Albany in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans sold into bondage in North America.  A full schedule of programming can be found at

The company’s engagement at UAlbany is made possible through the ArtsCONNECT program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support from the UAlbany campus community is provided by the University at Albany Foundation, Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, University Auxiliary Services and the Alumni Association through the Grandma Moses Fund.

Advance tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff.  Tickets purchased on the day of the show are $20 for the general public and $15 for students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff.  For reservations and further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997.

There will also be a special morning matinee performance of Brothers on the Battlefield for high school groups at 10am on Thursday, November 14, 2019. Educators wishing to bring groups can contact the UAlbany Performing Arts Center office at (518) 442-5738 or