February 16, 2013: Legendary Jazzman meets The Moms

Branford & Friends
Well, Branford Marsalis met the Moms this last fall and I have to say, we put on a pretty good show. I guess it helped that we didn't have a clue on who he was at the time of introduction. The tailgating libations probably played a part too.

Let's start where it ended...Robbie sitting in the back of a big red truck at a Nebraska football tailgate staring at her I-Phone with the master jazzman, Branford Marsalis. As Robbie typed his name into Google, the handsome musician sat next to her, looking over her shoulder and helping with the spelling of his name.

"No. It's B*R*A*N*F*O*R*D"

"Oh," said Robbie after locating him in Wikipedia. "Your wife is Teresa and you have two kids?"

"Divorced, but yes on the kids," responded a smiling Branford, not missing a beat.

"You better contact them and correct that."

"Yeah, I probably should."

So that's how the story ended. With Branford and Robbie looking up Branford's credentials on the web and verifying that he was a big deal. Thank-you, Branford, in helping us get to that point. With a Bloody Mary and two beers, this was a difficult task for us at that moment in time.

I will pause now for all of you to look up Branford on Google. Below is a fraction of his Wikipedia profile...


In summary, he has done some fun things with Sting, served as Jay Leno's sidekick, and is basically the master of the jazz sax. His resume and credentials are too lengthy for me to go into in this blog. Please do your homework on your own time.

So now let's start at the beginning of the story. It was a lovely fall afternoon in Nebraska and as any good Nebraska woman would do, I was tailgating with my sister-in-laws (former, but we won't get into that), Robbie and Kori. We decided to stop over and say hello to friends and brothers, Greg and Jim Boulay.

As we approached their tailgate, we ran into a young African American man who was not dressed in red (first clue) and wearing a fedora. He was young and had kind eyes. So as any good mother would do, the three of us struck up a conversation.

We soon found out that he was a drummer for a band and played the prior night in Omaha. He was a mere 20 years old. Kori, Robbie and I were intrigued by this engaging young musician and had many questions as to how long had he been on the road and whether his mother approved. Justin happily proceeded to tell his story with a smile on his face. He referred to us as "The Moms" and noted that his own mother would be happy that we were looking out for him.

Soon another African American man joined us. Justin introduced him as a fellow band member. He was older and stuck out a bit wearing a New Orleans t-shirt without a hint of red. He joined in our conversation. Our new friend, Justin, introduced us as "The Moms".

Kori had lots of questions starting with where they played the previous night. When the nice older man responded with the Holland Center, Kori immediately informed him that she saw Kenny Rogers there and he was really good. Had they seen Kenny in concert? No.

On a roll, Kori next let Justin, the drummer in the band, know that her very own brother-in-law had been inducted into the Nebraska Marching Band Hall of Fame. He was a drummer. In Kori's defense, Justin did seem impressed.

At this point Greg was giving us "the look" with Jimmy nicely trying to herd us in a different direction. The older musician, who we now knew as the sax player, told him, "No, Jim, I like them. These moms are cool."

Sparing no time, Kori took this as a green light to ask the all important question, "So, do you guys play at weddings?"

At this point Jimmy spit out his beer and Justin and his band mate, who we now knew as Branford, were hugging each other in laughter. "No weddings?" asked Kori, still clueless.

"No weddings," said Branford. "But we'll keep our options open."

At this point Greg was beyond himself at our ignorance. "He is Branford Frickin' Marsalis!!!"

This is when Robbie got resourceful and thought it best to Google our new friend. Branford, being a complete gentleman, sat next to her and carefully spelled out his name.

"Wow!" I exclaimed after Robbie read off her findings. "You are a big deal. Should I follow you on Twitter?"

The generational differences showed with a 50 year-old Branford and I trying to find him on Twitter. With no success, the 20 year-old took our phones, one at a time, and got us all connected.

It was a good connection, no doubt. I have since found Branford and his phenom drummer, Justin, on Pandora. They are really good! I get the mile long Wikipedia career description now. So glad the musicians schooled The Moms on that beautiful fall afternoon in Nebraska. They were great fun. And I don't think they will ever have to worry about doing weddings.

The Moms with new friend, Justin Faulkner


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