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SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 2010
Live at Radio City Music Hall

A Tony Surprise for Best Score Nominee Branford Marsalis of Fences

A Tony Surprise for Best Score Nominee Branford Marsalis of Fences

Branford Marsalis

The morning the Tony nominations are announced, phones start ringing off the hook for the happy few who get nods. As usual, is among the callers offering congratulations and getting responses. Here are the first reactions from 2010 Tony nominees. Congrats to all!

Branford Marsalis
Nominated for Best Score, Fences

“I live in North Carolina, and this is completely out of the blue. I didn’t even know when the Tony Awards are. I got home last night and said to my wife, ‘I’m going to sit on my ass and do nothing for two days.’ I said that for emphasis. So I was sitting on my ass, switching between MSNBC and ESPN and napping in between, and my manager sent an e-mail saying, ‘You got a Tony nomination.’ Being a student of jazz, the body of work of jazz is basically the entire Broadway songbook from great composers like Sammy Cahn, the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart and Hammerstein—you name it. When I think of Broadway music awards, I think of musicals, full scores and songs. I never could have anticipated that roughly eight to ten minutes of music [for Fences] could be received this well. I’m glad that the people who matter think the music added to the emotional gravitas of the play. I did this because I respect [director] Kenny Leon, and it was an August Wilson piece; I would gladly do that music for free, let alone get paid for it. I’m honored, and I’m really surprised by this.”

For reactions from more of this year's Tony nominees, click here!

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