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Wynton’s Blog

  • This is our first time performing in Lima, so everyone is dedicated to representing

    Posted on March 19th, 2015 | 2

    When we landed in Lima last Monday, the weather was warm and balmy. Our hosts for the next few days, Lali Madueño Medina and Nata Furgang, greeted us at the airport, displaying a level of professionalism and attention-to-detail that was so on point, we knew we were in expert hands. On our way to the hotel, we noticed that Lima is a very expansive and layered city. There is a motley assortment of apartment buildings in all shapes and colors and in various states of undress. We could see everything from the underlying brick frames of unfinished apartments to the sheen of the ultra modern. And despite the traffic and hustle-bustle of a population of over 10 million people, everyone was going about their daily business with an unusual calm. They exemplify relaxed urgency at its most refined.   Keep reading »

  • In my 35 years of touring, Jazz has never been in the crosshairs of any nation

    Posted on March 16th, 2015 | 1

    A little more than a week ago we left Mexico in high spirits. The concerts were well received and we were all pleasantly surprised by the large number of students who came out for our workshops and performances, their attentiveness and enthusiasm. We were sorry to leave, but headed off to the airport bound for our next stop on the tour – Venezuela. We flew from Mexico City to Panama City, where we planned to take our connecting flight to Caracas.  Our staff back home, members of the band and their families, had all been diligently monitoring the ‘goings on’ in Venezuela for the last few weeks. Although politics and posturing are standard practices across the global landscape, art usually tends to fly high above that radar. Still, there was some concern. In my 35 years of touring, Jazz has never been in the crosshairs of any nation, not even our own, making it even more of a disappointment when we made the tough decision to cancel our trip to Venezuela and stay in Panama City.   Keep reading »

  • Kenny Rampton and I called the legendary trumpeter Victor Vitin Paz

    Posted on March 14th, 2015

    As soon as our plane landed in Panama City last Monday night, Kenny Rampton and I called the legendary trumpeter Victor Vitin Paz. He is 83 and currently living in Panama.   Keep reading »

  • I always like to play very contemporary concepts of swing right next to New Orleans music

    Posted on March 8th, 2015

    This afternoon was much better than last night. 5pm on a Sunday is a good time for a concert.   Keep reading »

  • Lew Soloff… Tragic loss for music, irrecoupable loss for trumpet

    Posted on March 8th, 2015 | 6

    Tragic loss for music, irrecoupable loss for trumpet. First Wilmer, then CT and now Lew. Damn! All I can think about is how is Jon Faddis handling this? They had the deepest personal and collegial relationship full of mutual respect, admiration and love. And each set a higher standard for our instrument, but together!......it was otherworldly. Both Lew and Jon have always treated me with so I much love and support for which I AM ALWAYS GRATEFUL!   Keep reading »

  • As the concert goes on, I feel we relax and play more inside the space.

    Posted on March 7th, 2015 | 1

    This morning Vincent led us in an 11am soundcheck/workshop at the majestic Palacio de Bellas Artes oficial. Elliot Mason was delayed getting in due to some visa complications so we recruited a 16-year old substitute, Mr. Hernan Cruz Calderon from Oaxaca, a southern Mexican state with more than 600 family wind bands! Someone should do a study to see if these families are any more or any less dysfunctional than non-band families. These bands have played for generations at family parties, state and city events and parades.   Keep reading »

  • It is always exciting to fly into Mexico City at night

    Posted on March 6th, 2015

    It is always exciting to fly into Mexico City at night. We arrived shortly after midnight. Just the endless tapestry of lighted homes and streets stretching to the horizon further than the eye can see gives you a jolt of super energy. We are being presented by DeQuinta Producciones, which means Eugenio Artistic Director and Maribel General Director.   Keep reading »

  • The community welcomes and embraces the movement for better music education and quality performance

    Posted on March 4th, 2015 | 1

    We arrived in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands shortly before 9 in the morning. Having left the hotel at 6 am for what had to be the shortest flight In the world, 17 minutes, I’m going on about 2 hours sleep. We are here to play for the United Jazz Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by the great drummer, humanist and jazz ambassador from St. Thomas, Dion Parson and master architectural and civil engineer, Vietnam veteran and charter member of the spiritual aristocracy of the world, Roan Creque, with their own funds. JALC and the United Jazz Foundation has a very healthy educational partnership that is yielding wonderful fruit, young people who can play and understand the greater value of this music. They met us at the airport and we got down to it.   Keep reading »

  • We left snowy, blustery New York City for a 4-hour flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Posted on March 3rd, 2015

    We left snowy, blustery New York City for a 4-hour flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico. We landed not just in another time zone, but on another planet: palm trees, radiant sunshine, thermal breeze and the communal festivity of island life.   Keep reading »

  • One-stop classes are fun but not as productive as return visits

    Posted on February 13th, 2015 | 2

    Last Friday after driving back from Strathmore in the wee hours of the morning, I got up at 7, ironed and went to Isaac Newton Middle School for Math and Science in Harlem. It was a great day, because I enjoyed speaking to a class of 7th graders there last October and returning means that Principal Lisa Nelson approved of my overall vibration and way of teaching. I love the school and the communal feeling that she, the faculty, and staff strive to establish and maintain. It’s not easy.   Keep reading »