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Wynton’s Blog

  • And the Band Played On

    Posted on June 25th, 2009

    This is a busy week. Over the weekend we drove to Evanston, IL for the commencement of Northwestern University. After working on the commencement address for several days and nights, rain necessitated the reading of the first and last pages only.   Keep reading »

  • Our brother Ellis “commanded” the stage

    Posted on June 17th, 2009

    The Duke Ellington Jazz Festival presented my father with a lifetime achievement award on Monday night. The festival touches all corners of Washington, DC from the spacious outside mall to small neighborhood restaurants and clubs and the venerated concert stages of the Kennedy Center. Almost our entire family was there, all the brothers, wives and children.   Keep reading »

  • The House of people

    Posted on June 16th, 2009

    Yesterday was a full, beautiful day. We participated in education events at the White House luminously hosted by Michelle Obama. Three rooms of the house were filled with ecstatic students and first-class educators. In one quarter, Professor Massey of the famed Foxboro High School in Massachusetts conducted Davey Yarborough's Duke Ellington School of the Arts in a clinic on Duke's great music with the assistance from the exuberant virtuoso Sean Jones.   Keep reading »

  • Daily Doses: “How I’m gon’ be mad at a kid with freckles?”

    Posted on June 15th, 2009

    I had the good fortune to work with the middle school band at a Kindergarten through 12th grade school on the lower east side of Manhattan imaginatively named "New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math".   Keep reading »

  • Daily Doses ... (part 2)

    Posted on June 11th, 2009

    These are some of the things I love most about writing a serious and involved piece of music.   Keep reading »

  • Daily Doses… (part 1)

    Posted on June 11th, 2009

    This morning author Stanley Crouch addressed the staff of Jazz at Lincoln Center.  He spoke about the specifics of the art of jazz and the importance of human substance in a technological age.   Keep reading »

  • On receiving an honorary doctorate at Harvard University

    Posted on June 4th, 2009

    With nine extraordinary candidates whose diversity of achievement extend from an original vision of life expressed in film to the expression of law as a primary manifestation of integrity to a diverse and poignant literary style which highlights integrity through the expiration of moral and cultural decline to the engineering of human organs to insightful interpretations of our collective human mythology to what it actually means to mother.   Keep reading »

  • Root grooves

    Posted on May 27th, 2009

    For the last 8 days Jeff "The Jedi Master" Jones and I have mixed a DVD/CD of our quintet performing the music of Ray Charles with blues harmonica specialist Mickey Raphael, Willie Nelson and Norah Jones.   Keep reading »

  • Live where you live

    Posted on May 18th, 2009

    Engineer, producer, sound doctor extraordinaire Jeff “The Jedi Master” Jones and I were up ‘till 4 in the morning mixing the DVD and CD of the concert we did with Willie Nelson and Norah Jones.   Keep reading »

  • Swinging with kids at Essentially Ellington 2009

    Posted on May 11th, 2009

    Essentially Ellington is always the highlight of my year. 15 Big Bands of youngsters from all over the country swinging. The kids this year were very socially conscious and the level of musicianship extremely high.   Keep reading »