Branford Marsalis (born August 26, 1960) is an American jazz saxophonist.
He began his professional career in the early 1980s playing with Art Blakey's big band, Clark Terry, and Blakey's Jazz Messengers. From 1982 to 1985 he played with his brother Wynton's group, then left to play in Sting's backup band. He also toured with Miles Davis in one of the latter's last bands. In 1986 he set up his own group. From 1992 to 1995 he was musical director of the Tonight Show Band. He then set up the Buckshot LeFonque project which intended to combine jazz with rhythm and blues, hip hop, and rock.
Creator of the record company Marsalis Music.
He is the oldest of the four Marsalis brothers, who are all jazz musicians, as was their father Ellis Marsalis. He is most prominently known in jazz as a tenor and soprano saxophonist and a most talented brilliant musical innovator among his brothers.