In the era of individual “star” instrumentalists, the idea of a truly collective trio can be a difficult concept to fathom. Yet collectivity is what the Fly trio strives for, and collectivity is what they unabashedly and unquestionably achieve.
Ballard, Grenadier, and Turner have three rather distinct musical personalities, simultaneously complimentary and contrasting, that create a cohesive unit that expresses each part while forming an uniquely realized whole. In other words, they celebrate the group without sacrificing the individual.
Marsalis Berklee Jams is a collaboration between Marsalis Jams and Berklee College of Music. Up-and-coming jazz groups interact with Berklee students in a program of clinics, concerts, and jam sessions. Miguel Zenón and Sean Jones and their groups have been past participants.
Marsalis Jams was conceived by Berklee alumnus Branford Marsalis as an initiative to provide meaningful interaction between established musical ensembles and dedicated student musicians at the high school and college levels. Marsalis Jams provides a rare opportunity for students to play with working groups, and opens a window into the music's creative process for members of the audience. Since 2003, the program has been successfully presented in colleges and high schools in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Texas.