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Wynton’s Blog

  • Jazz in Marciac, Happy 40th Anniversary

    Posted on August 11th, 2017

    As a New Orleanian, I am a non-French speaking extended family member of France. As a trumpeter, I began studying from the book of Frenchman Jean Baptiste Arban at 6 years old, and still today, strive to play his exercises correctly. I am also honored to be one of the many descendants of the great virtuoso Maurice André whose sparkling playing inspired a world of trumpet players to pursue excellence.   Keep reading »

  • There’s nothing like a good 11-hour flight for someone who hates to fly

    Posted on July 7th, 2017 | 7

    Our travel from Prague to Shanghai, China was long and smooth. There’s nothing like a good 11-hour flight for someone who hates to fly. And nothing like a stressful, uncomfortable environment to inspire wholesale concentration on some tedious detail-congested work. I started working on my Blues Symphony score that I tinker with every summer as a hobby, but little did I know that the presence of this score would have benefits far beyond its contents. For about nine strong hours, it helped me to forget that we were on an airplane.   Keep reading »

  • Many unusual and uplifting things can happen in a short span of time

    Posted on June 26th, 2017 | 1

    It’s 1 A.M. in Zhengzhou China, and I’m wide-awake. Because we go from city-to-city at home, and country-to-country abroad, many unusual and uplifting things can happen in a short span of time. It can be especially difficult to digest your experiences across what is often a combination of space and time.   Keep reading »

  • This past weekend, Rose Hall was buzzing with the spirit and music of the ‘60s

    Posted on March 20th, 2017

    This past weekend, Rose Hall was buzzing with the spirit and music of a tumultuous, redefining period in our history known as the ‘60s. A decade characterized by innocence and cynicism, conformity and counterculture, the ‘60s had equal parts promise and heartbreak.  Walter Blanding curated and directed two concerts that focused on a crucial issue that dominated our national life in the ‘60s - the subject and meaning of freedom. Now is a great time to examine this concept because our collective political disengagement and impotence has allowed the ruse of “security” to divert our attention from what freedom actually requires of us.   Keep reading »

  • This weekend we celebrated the music and spirit of Dizzy Gillespie in all of 3 of our concert spaces

    Posted on February 2nd, 2017 | 10

    This weekend we celebrated the music and spirit of Dizzy Gillespie in all of 3 of our concert spaces in the house of swing. In Rose Theater, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performed a selection of his masterworks for the large ensemble led by Vincent Gardner. Carlos Henriquez led a stellar all-star ensemble in the Appel Room in the Latin side of Dizzy’s canon. And in the club, trumpeters Bruce Harris and Theo Croker both led groups dealing with aspects of Dizzy’s small group innovations.   Keep reading »

  • In the countdown to Friday’s inauguration…

    Posted on January 18th, 2017 | 10

    In the countdown to Friday’s inauguration, I find myself being asked - at least once a day - whether or not I would agree to play at the festivities, if invited.  Yesterday, while fellowshipping with a number of college-aged youngsters, both my willingness to perform, and my interest in joining a protest were called into question. “Would I perform, if asked?”  “Yes,” I said. “Would you protest the accepted outcome of the election?” “No,” I said, and quickly followed up with, “I’ll at least wait for him (or them) to actually do something that I feel should be protested against.”   Keep reading »

  • In light of our ongoing national crisis with law enforcement…

    Posted on July 14th, 2016 | 3

    In light of our ongoing national crisis with law enforcement, it is ironic that two weeks ago Chicago native and police officer, Tony Parker, agreed to fly to New York and drive, as the second driver to Boss Murphy, back to Chicago and the Ravinia Festival. Boss and I were going to hear the U.S. premiere of my Violin Concerto for the great Nicky Benedetti and the venerated Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Tony did us a solid.   Keep reading »

  • In Memoriam: Joe Temperley

    Posted on May 12th, 2016

    It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Staff, Board of Directors, and Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, say goodbye to our beloved Orchestra member, saxophonist Joe Temperley.   Keep reading »

  • Spaces focuses on the definitive traits of 10 animals

    Posted on April 2nd, 2016 | 4

    Throughout history we have lived close to animals and have been reliant on them in so many ways. In this densely populated metropolis, our way of life does not include meaningful contact with any undomesticated animals larger than squirrels. But the animal kingdom remains a foundation of our mythology, personality and understanding of our space in the world.   Keep reading »

  • The great Maestro Kurt Masur once said, “Let’s face the new year with a new brain”

    Posted on January 1st, 2016 | 4

    I offer this prayer and the ensuing section of the yet unreleased Abyssinian Mass today to thank and express gratitude to everyone involved with our music on any level of participation. The great Maestro Kurt Masur once said, “Let’s face the new year with a new brain.” We all laughed, but he had an excellent point because all of us are struggling with something. Some form of dues always winds up on our plates (even if it wasn’t on the menu), and it always costs more than we have.    Keep reading »