Branford Marsalis Fortune visit 022620 1Gilda Rogers, right, led saxophonist Branford Marsalis on a tour of the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center in Red Bank Wednesday afternoon. 

Branford Marsalis Fortune visit 022620 1Marsalis with volunteers Lynn Humphrey, Robin Blair and Gilda Rogers in the Fortune Center’s research library. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Marsalis, in town with the Branford Marsalis Quartet for a Wednesday night performance at the Count Basie Center for the Arts, stopped by at the invitation of Gilda Rogers, vice president of the foundation that runs the center, at 94 Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

As previously reported by redbankgreen, the Fortune Center plans to spotlight the borough-born musical giant William ‘Count’ Basie through 2020 in honor of the 85th anniversary of the formation of the Count Basie Orchestra, which is still touring 36 years after its founder’s death.

The cultural center, which opened last May, is in the onetime home of pioneering African-American journalist T. Thomas Fortune.